Wild, domestic bird avian influenza in B.C.: update

April 29, 2022 at 1:52 pm  BC, News, Politics, Provincial

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has confirmed that a small poultry flock in the Regional District of Central Kootenay has tested positive for the highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza virus.

B.C.’s Ministry of Agriculture and Food continues to work closely with the CFIA and B.C. poultry producers to ensure enhanced prevention and preparedness measures are in place to protect poultry flocks in B.C.

The infected premises has been placed under quarantine by the CFIA and the ministry has notified producers within a 12-kilometre radius of the positive test results.

Owners of small or backyard flocks are urged to continue to be vigilant and have appropriate preventative measures in place. Measures include eliminating or reducing opportunities for poultry to encounter wild birds, reducing human access to the flock, and increased cleaning, disinfection and sanitization of all things (including clothing and footwear) when entering areas where flocks are housed.

Additionally, seven wild birds that died between April 20 and 27 have also tested positive for H5 strains of avian influenza. The seven include three snow geese and one Canada goose in the Vanderhoof area, and individual bald eagles from Lac la Hache (near 100 Mile House), Bowen Island and Vancouver. These cases follow a similar finding in a bald eagle in Delta this month, and one in Vancouver in February.

These findings were reported through B.C.’s wild bird mortality surveillance program which gathers samples from sick and dead birds, as well as sediment samples from wetlands on which the birds gather. The surveillance is a partnership between federal and provincial agencies and the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative.

Avian influenza is a federally regulated disease. The CFIA leads the investigation and response with provincial support for testing, mapping, surveillance and disposal.

Learn More:

Ministry of Agriculture and Food information on avian Influenza, including what to be on the lookout for, resources for small flock owners, deputy chief veterinarian orders and information on testing: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/agriculture-seafood/animals-and-crops/animal-health/reportable-notifiable-diseases/avian-influenza-ai

CFIA information on current state of avian Influenza in Canada: https://inspection.canada.ca/animal-health/terrestrial-animals/diseases/reportable/avian-influenza/response-to-detections-of-highly-pathogenic-avian-/eng/1640207916497/1640207916934

CFIA fact sheet on avian Influenza: https://inspection.canada.ca/animal-health/terrestrial-animals/diseases/reportable/avian-influenza/eng/1323990856863/1323991018946

For more information:

The following contact information can be found on the ministry website provided but are provided here for quick access:

The BC Ministry of Agriculture and Food provides diagnostic services for commercial and small flock poultry. Call 1 800 661-9903 to report unexplained poultry illnesses or mortalities.    

Small and backyard flock owners with general inquiries should call the Small and Backyard Flock Permitting Hotline 1 604 855-8255.

The Wild Bird Mortality Investigation Program hotline, 1 866 431-2473 accepts public reports of dead wild birds.

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