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Notice to the Canadian organic industry regarding outdoor access of organic poultry during Avian Influenza outbreaks

To: All regulated parties under Canada Organic Regime (COR)

Date: March 29, 2023

This notice provides guidance to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) accredited Certification Bodies (CBs) and the operators regarding occurrences of avian influenza (AI) and what organic poultry operators can do in this situation.

The Canadian organic standard CAN/CGSB-32.310-2020 includes sections (6.7.2 and 6.13.1) regarding restricting outdoor access in emergency situations like an AI outbreak in Canada.

The organic poultry operators are required to respect section 6.13.1 of CAN/CGSB-32.310-2020 in cases of AI.

As per section 6.13.1 the organic poultry operators will continue to maintain their organic status even when access to the outdoors is restricted due to imminent threat to the health and welfare of poultry.

As outlined in the standard, the organic poultry operators should keep records documenting the periods of confinement to maintain compliance with organic certification requirements when there is an imminent threat to the health of birds. The organic poultry operators should address any questions or concerns to their CFIA accredited CB.

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