VICTORIA (November 20, 2023) – BC United Shadow Minister of Agriculture and Food, MLA Ian Paton, makes the following statement in response to the recent spike in avian influenza cases on British Columbia farms: announced.
“Recently, there has been a significant spike in the number of avian influenza cases, affecting 36 farms in British Columbia, and shows no signs of slowing down. The level of stress and anxiety in our rural communities continues to increase, and the psychological toll is devastating.
“The BC United Caucus is in direct contact with poultry producers and it is vital that their concerns are addressed by the government as soon as possible. The NDP recognizes the seriousness of the situation and is committed to preventing further spread of the virus. We must take immediate action to prevent this.
“Alarming data from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency reveals that 5 million birds have died in British Columbia since the first case was discovered in April 2022. We need to ensure comprehensive measures to contain the spread and support affected farmers.”
“The act of euthanizing birds to prevent the spread of disease has a huge emotional and economic impact on farmers. We recognize their commitment to maintaining high biosecurity standards and commend their efforts to maintain high biosecurity standards.
“As the situation unfolds, the BC United Caucus is calling on the NDP government to prioritize food security in the province. It means delivering quickly and implementing strategies to prevent further outbreaks.
“We recognize the importance of the agricultural sector and its contribution to the future of our province, and we are committed to working together to deliver positive results for British Columbian farmers.”