NEWS

Salmonella-tainted chicks destroyed leaving hobby farmer with no compensation

07/13/2015 09:57 EDT | Updated 07/13/2016 05:59 EDT
A Rossland, B.C. hobby farmer says she is still waiting to be compensated $700 for six dozen chicks she bought that were tainted with salmonella.  

Caron Williams said she was forced to slaughter all 72 of the diseased birds.

Williams purchased the chicks from a Northern Alberta hatchery last spring. Seven weeks later, as she went to slaughter the grown chickens, she received an e-mail stating the birds may have salmonella.

Tests later confirmed the animals were tainted and had to be slaughtered.

Wiiliams said her faith in Canada's food production system has been shaken.

"[I was] shocked. Here we are trying raise this poultry for our family to be able feed our family. To this day I haven't been able to buy chicken out of the store. Or look at an egg."

Contamination was widespread

Williams bought the chicks from Rochester Hatchery in Westlock, AB.

Owner Al Keshwani said when the salmonella was discovered, his priority was the health and safety of the public. He says he can't comment on individual cases, but says he treats all customers fairly.

Keshwani said he went above and beyond any regulatory requirements dealing with the salmonella.

In May, the Public Health Agency of Canada investigated a salmonella outbreak linked to live chicks at an unnamed Alberta hatchery.

There are currently sixty reported cases of Salmonella illness — including 19 in British Columbia — from individuals who had contact with live baby poultry including chicks, turkey poults and goslings.

According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, trace-back investigations have indicated that the birds were ordered from Rochester Hatchery and Miller Hatcheries, also based out of Westlock, AB.

MORE:cbcNews