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Canada Quarantines 36 Farms over Bird Flu

by 5m Editor
2 February 2009, at 6:50am

CANADA - In its latest round-up of news on the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) outbreak in British Columbia, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) reports that nine more farms have been quarantined pending investigations, bringing the total number of quarantined farms in the province to 36.

In-barn composting is underway in two barns in British Columbia where H5 avian influenza was detected late last week. Temperatures are being monitored inside the compost piles to ensure the virus is effectively inactivated. These procedures are consistent with provincial environmental regulations and internationally accepted disease control guidelines.

The CFIA is conducting various surveillance activities to determine if the virus has spread. These activities include testing of commercial flocks within a three-kilometre radius of the infected premises and those premises identified as being linked with the infected premises.

To date, 36 premises have been quarantined through the investigation.

Seven more quarantines have been applied to premises outside the three-kilometre radius and to two additional premises within the three-kilometre radius. These premises have been identified as a result of the assessment of the movement of people, products and equipment through the investigation. Investigations and surveillance activities are continuing and as new information becomes available, this number may change.

Thus far, all flocks under surveillance, have tested negative for avian influenza. Monitoring and testing continue on all premises that have been declared infected places.

Earlier this week, approximately 60,000 birds were humanely destroyed on the affected premises. Federal and provincial animal welfare experts, along with a representative from the British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals (BC SPCA), were on hand to oversee the destruction process.

Prior to moving poultry or poultry products off the quarantined farms, samples must be tested, confirmed negative and licensed by the CFIA before transportation to market.

People are rarely affected by avian influenza, except in a limited number of cases when individuals were in close contact with infected birds. Nevertheless, public health authorities have taken precautionary measures as warranted. Poultry owners in the area are encouraged to take an active role in protecting their flocks by immediately reporting any signs of illness that could be consistent with avian influenza by calling (604) 227-1753.

Further Reading

- You can visit the Avian Flu page by clicking here.