As of January 1, 2020, it will be a requirement of license that pullets and layers are housed in production facilities dedicated to the regulated egg industry.
Over the past 5 years, EFA has been working to phase out facilities housing more than pullets and layers. We’d like to remind our farmers of the reasons why this policy was developed:
There is an increased risk of bacteria and pathogens in multi-species production facilities that can impact both food safety and hen health. Many harmful bacteria and diseases can be transferred from one type of animal to another. Layers and pullets do not mix with other types of poultry. Eggs are the only poultry industry that have a zero tolerance policy for Salmonella Enteritidis. The reason we have zero tolerance is to protect food safety – while most poultry products are thoroughly cooked, people eat raw and undercooked eggs on a regular basis and we need tosafeguard the trust they put in the eggs they purchase!
CEIRA’s insurance policy, which provides coverage for Salmonella Enteritidis (SE) and now Avian Influenza states “Subscribers should fully understand that a loss from an SE positive environment is not covered if the production facility is used for any purpose other than conducting business for the regulated egg industry. As an example, if a pullet flock is raised in a production facility that is also used for raising broiler chickens, the pullet flock is not eligible for SE insurance coverage under the CEIRA Policy.” We don’t want our farmers to be left exposed in the event of an SE positive result from your sampling.
In order to enforce the policy and deadlines to phase out multi-species production facilities, a staged approach with increasing penalties will be used – similar to those previously used to enforce mandatory requirements in the SC-SC and Animal Care programs. Farmers failing to have facilities dedicated to the regulated egg industry by January 1, 2020, will be subject to noncompliance penalties, as outlined in EFA’s On Farm Food Safety Policy, OPP 8.3.
We would like to thank all of our farmers who have had to make changes to their facility for their work in helping us achieve our goal of eliminating multi-species barns in Alberta by 2020!