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Fraser Valley poultry farms test positive for avian influenza

November 21, 2022 at 2:53 pm  BC, News, Politics, Provincial

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has confirmed seven commercial poultry farms in the Fraser Valley tested positive for highly pathogenic avian influenza between Nov. 16 and 19, 2022.

Six infected premises in Abbotsford and one in Chilliwack have been placed under quarantine by the CFIA. The B.C. government has notified producers within a 10-kilometre radius of each of the positive test results.

The risk of avian influenza to commercial poultry farms and small flocks increases each spring and fall with the migration of waterfowl and other birds to and through British Columbia.

Since the first 2022 confirmation of avian influenza in B.C. poultry in mid-April, there have been 36 cases in B.C. Eighteen were before June, and 18 since September after the fall migration began. Of the 36 cases, 14 were on commercial farms, 21 in small flocks and one in a captive wild bird.

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

To reduce the risk of the virus spreading, B.C.’s chief veterinarian issued an order on Sept. 14, 2022, requiring all regulated, quota-holding chicken and turkey operations to maintain indoor operations. On Oct. 14, a second order was issued requiring birds not be taken to commingling events, such as auctions, poultry swaps, bird shows and fairs.

To help small-flock owners prepare, the ministry is hosting free, online information sessions on Nov. 30 and Dec. 5, 2022. The registration link is below.

Quick Facts:

  • Poultry owners who suspect or confirm a case in their flock must report it to the CFIA at 403 338-5225
    or: [email protected]
  • Wild birds have tested positive for highly pathogenic strains of avian influenza in many regions of B.C.
  • The Wild Bird Mortality Investigation Program hotline, 1 866 431-2473, accepts public reports of dead wild birds.
  • The cases in B.C. are an extension of an ongoing North American outbreak, with positive cases in nine provinces.

Learn More:

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 factsheet about avian influenza: Fact Sheet – Avian Influenza – Canadian Food Inspection Agency:
https://inspection.canada.ca/animal-health/terrestrial-animals/diseases/reportable/avian-influenza/fact-sheet/eng/1356193731667/1356193918453#a2)

Ministry of Agriculture and Food information about avian influenza, including what to watch for, resources for small flock owners, 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

Register for the online information sessions: https://www.eventbrite.ca/o/bc-ministry-of-agriculture-and-food-52507526703

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