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N.S. Eden Valley processor hit by COVID scrambles to divert birds

A Nova Scotia poultry plant that shut operations last week due to a COVID-19 outbreak is developing a plan to reopen earlier than currently scheduled with a smaller crew if it can't divert birds to other processors, according to CBC News in Canada.

The plan would require approval by provincial authorities. The company, Eden Valley Poultry, is the only federally regulated poultry processor in Nova Scotia and processes about 400,000 chickens and turkeys a week, according to the report.

The Berwick facility was closed after testing found six cases of COVID-19 among about 450 employees, according to the news service. Public health authorities have approved a plan for the plant to reopen on Dec. 28, but Eden Valley President Werner Barnard told CBC that he hopes provincial officials will permit an earlier restart with a "skeleton crew" before the holidays.

The company is scrambling to find processors in New Brunswick to take the birds in an effort to avoid euthanizing them. Whether the Eden Valley plant is allowed to reopen earlier could hinge on a second round of staff testing planned for this week, according to the report.

By Susan Kelly on 12/17/2020

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