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New insurance coming for Ont. turkey farmers

New insurance coming for Ont. turkey farmers

The insurance will help protect producers from losses due to avian influenza

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

A new mandatory insurance is in development for Ontario’s turkey farmers.

Neil Ellis, parliamentary secretary to Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau, announced Turkey Farmers of Ontario is receiving up to $559,285 to help it finalize and launch a new insurance product for the industry.

“This funding has supported a new risk management tool to help farmers remain resilient and to cover losses and the risk posed by avian influenza,” Ellis said during a Monday videoconference. “The insurance will help bridge the gap between existing coverages.”

This new insurance, once fully implemented, will be administered by the Poultry Insurance Exchange Reciprocal of Canada.

The insurance will help cover the difference between compensation through the Canadian Food Inspection Agency for animals ordered destroyed, and their full market value.

Associated costs could include cleaning and disinfection, feed disposal and veterinary services, Ellis said.

Ontario’s last bout with avian influenza occurred in 2015.

Eight farms were placed under quarantine that April after an outbreak of bird flu was discovered on a turkey farm near Woodstock.

At least 7,500 turkeys out of a flock of 12,000 died, CTV News reported at the time.

This resulted in some trading partners banning poultry and poultry products from Ontario.

“It’s been a real challenge for us over the years, so that made it very evident that we really needed this insurance in place,” Brian Ricker, chair of Turkey Farmers of Ontario, said during Monday’s announcement. “It’s extremely valuable to have these measures put in place.”

The funding for the insurance program is through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership’s AgriRisk Initiatives: Administrative Capacity Building Stream. This stream provides funding to implement and test new financial tools.

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