Small-flock poultry owners encouraged to register for final avian flu session
The Ministry of Agriculture and Food is holding a final virtual information session tomorrow for B.C. small-flock poultry owners.
As the cases of avian influenza continue to increase in British Columbia, the virtual session will focus on how owners can protect their flocks and how to prepare for if their birds become sick.
The session is being led by B.C. government veterinary specialists. Attendees will learn about:
- improving flock or farm biosecurity to reinforce against disease outbreaks;
- recognizing the signs of avian influenza and how to report cases;
- how foreign animal disease regulations affect small-flock poultry;
- what to expect if a flock is positive for avian influenza; and
- resources available for non-commercial bird owners, including diagnostic services through the B.C. Animal Health Centre.
Since September 2022, the Ministry of Agriculture and Food has held seven in-person and virtual sessions in communities throughout the province. The final virtual session is intended for all B.C. small-flock owners and will take place on Monday, Dec. 5, 2022, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. There is no cost to attend the session. Registration is mandatory. Register online: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/461141636047
Since the first confirmation of avian influenza in B.C. poultry in mid-April 2022, there have been more than 60 cases in B.C., and more than 45 since the fall bird migration began in September. Since Nov. 16, there have been more than 30 cases.
- Avian influenza is a federally regulated disease and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) leads the investigation and response with provincial support for testing, mapping, surveillance and disposal.
- Wild birds have also tested positive for H5 strains of avian influenza in multiple regions of B.C.
- On Oct. 14, 2022, the Province’s chief veterinarian issued a general order requiring all people responsible for birds to not take birds to events such as poultry swaps, auctions, flea markets, bird shows, fairs, public displays or competitions where birds from multiple sources would be present.
- Poultry owners with birds showing symptoms of avian influenza should contact their veterinarians for assistance.
- The Wild Bird Mortality Investigation Program hotline, 1 866 431-2473, accepts public reports of dead wild birds.
- This is an extension of an ongoing North American outbreak, with cases in provinces across Canada.
CFIA information about current state of avian influenza in Canada: https://inspection.canada.ca/animal-health/terrestrial-animals/diseases/reportable/avian-influenza/hpai-in-canada/status-of-ongoing-avian-influenza-response/eng/1640207916497/1640207916934
CFIA factsheet about avian influenza: 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 be on the lookout for, resources for small-flock owners, deputy chief veterinarian’s orders and information on testing: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/health/about-bc-s-health-care-system/office-of-the-provincial-health-officer/current-health-issues/h5n1-avian-influenza
Anyone requiring assistance in registering for the upcoming virtual information sessions can call the Animal Health Centre toll free at 1 800 661-9903 or email: [email protected]