Poultry producers urged to use new guide to create emergency plan

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Barns collapsing under the weight of heavy snow. Electrical power zapped by storms. Floods or water supplies threatened by drought.

Alberta poultry producers understand how devastating any of these could be, but many still need an effective disaster and business continuity plan to deal with them.

But a new guide provides poultry producers with a go-to reference of non-disease-related disaster response resources available in Alberta and pertinent information from around the world.

The guide is designed as a framework, says Angela Greter, program manager with Alberta Farm Animal Care, which supported development of the Alberta Poultry Industry Emergency Response Planning and Resource Guide for Producers.

“It’s a set of recommendations for producers to help them develop disaster response plans for their farms,” said Greter. “There are also suggestions for how the industry can help its producers to do that.”

As with any business plan, the goal is to have something robust enough to do the job, but not so complicated that it doesn’t get developed or used.

“What really matters is that the producers recognize the value of creating a disaster response plan,” she said. “We know producers are busy people. This tool has been created as a resource guide that they can approach in a systematic way and build their own plan from there.”

From the Country Guide website: Disease insurance offered for poultry producers

Producers already have a good handle on how to deal with disease-related emergencies, but aren’t as well prepared for other types, said Trevor Rouillard, an emergency preparedness specialist hired to develop the guide.

The poultry project began with a fact-finding mission to investigate resources already available to Alberta producers, and then examined approaches used elsewhere in Canada, as well as the U.S., U.K., Australia and New Zealand, he said.

“We wanted to produce a user-friendly guide that would provide producers with the architecture for developing their own plan,” said Rouillard. “This guide provides the resources and structure to do that.”

The guide is available on the ‘Poultry Producers’ page of the Alberta Farm Animal Care website, www.afac.ab.ca.

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