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Bird flu at Sask. Thanksgiving turkey is ‘heartbreaking’

People in Saskatchewan still rely on local ingredients for their Thanksgiving table, but this year might be a little different.

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The weeks leading up to Thanksgiving are always a busy time at Pine View Farm.

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Farms and meat suppliers just north of Warman typically deliver about 1,000 birds to Thanksgiving tables in Saskatchewan each year. This is harvest season.

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But this week, Melanie Boldt, co-owner of Pine View Farms, is “rushing” to find a way to fill their orders perfectly.

Last week, one of Pine View Farms’ partner growers, who raise turkeys on their farm, told Boldt that bird flu had been detected in their yard. They had to kill all the birds to prevent the outbreak from spreading.

“This includes Thanksgiving and Christmas turkeys that were raised there,” Bolt says.

Avian influenza is highly contagious among birds. On September 22, the Department of Agriculture issued an order restricting poultry transport and mixing after several confirmed flu cases in the state.

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That’s not the news farmers want to hear.

“This is an economic threat to the industry and an issue that we as farmers have to take seriously,” says Boldt. “We’re all financially devastated, so we’re working hard to keep our farms, barns, and herds from getting infected.

“Frankly, this is an emotionally and financially heartbreaking time.”

And even though Pine View Farms is “trying to get creative” during this time, it’s hard to bounce back from this.

“We’ve been looking for a local bird supply that we can process to fill some of our Thanksgiving orders, but we haven’t had any success on that front yet,” Boldt said. Hope is fading for

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Instead, Boldt has encouraged customers to try something different this Thanksgiving.

“How about roast chicken, beautiful ham, porchetta, beef roast, etc.?” she asked. “Thanksgiving isn’t just about what’s on the table, it’s about who’s around the table and who you’re sharing it with.”

With Christmas just a few months away, Bolt hopes the farm will find a new turkey supplier in time. But it’s not guaranteed.

“Hopefully we have enough opportunities here to find new suppliers for Christmas,” she said. I don’t know how it will work for us. But we will work hard.”

Ultimately, those preparing for holiday celebrations in Saskatchewan can count on local products on their tables, but it may look a little different this year.

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“There’s still plenty of food to eat in Saskatchewan. Maybe not turkey.

— Local Journalism Initiative

jupeterson@postmedia.com

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Bird flu at Sask. Thanksgiving turkey is ‘heartbreaking’

Source link Bird flu at Sask. Thanksgiving turkey is ‘heartbreaking’

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