Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Local News

Bird Flu Found

Chilliwack chicken farms under quarantine, cull planned

Released by CFIA/Voice file photo

 

 

UPDATE: December 4, 2014

he Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA)'s testing at the National Centre for Foreign Animal Diseases has confirmed the strain causing the avian influenza outbreak on two farms in the Fraser Valley as a highly-pathogenic H5N2 virus.

The Province of British Columbia has informed the CFIA that preliminary test results from the two additional farms that were quarantined yesterday are presumptive positive for H5 avian influenza. The CFIA will conduct further confirmatory testing.

Avian influenza viruses do not pose risks to food safety when poultry and poultry products are properly handled and cooked. Avian influenza rarely affects humans that do not have consistent contact with infected birds. Any illness would be mild. Public health authorities are ready to take precautionary measures as required.

H5N2 is a subtype that is known to affect wild and domestic birds. A highly pathogenic virus causes severe illness and death in birds, particularly poultry, whereas a low pathogenic virus causes less severe illness and lower rates of mortality.

A low-pathogenic H5N2 avian influenza virus caused outbreaks in Manitoba in 2010 and British Columbia in 2009.

All birds on the infected premises will be humanely euthanized in the coming days, under CFIA supervision. When animals affected by a disease are ordered destroyed by the CFIA under the Health of Animals Act, the farmer is also informed that they will receive compensation. The CFIA is dedicated to working directly with affected producers so that the compensation process runs as smoothly as possible.

As the CFIA's investigation progresses, any additional control measures will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Poultry farmers are reminded to practice a high level of biosecurity to reduce the risk of disease spread, and report any suspicious symptoms in their flocks to the CFIA.

Editor's Note: Reports are that somewhere around 30,000 turkeys and chickens will have to be culled.

 

 

UPDATE: December 3, 2014

he Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is continuing its investigation into an outbreak of avian influenza on two farms in British Columbia's Fraser Valley.

The two farms continue to be under quarantine to control disease spread, and two additional farms in the Fraser Valley have been placed under quarantine today. These farms were determined to be at high risk since they received birds from one of the original farms. Birds on these new farms were also showing signs of illness.

As avian influenza is highly contagious and can spread rapidly, it is possible that additional at-risk farms may be identified in the coming days. Poultry farmers are encouraged to report any suspicious symptoms to the CFIA.

The CFIA will continue to advise the public and the poultry industry if additional farms are confirmed to be affected.

Testing continues in order to confirm pathogenicity. Results are expected within days.

In the coming days, the CFIA will humanely euthanize and dispose of all birds on the infected premises in accordance with provincial environmental regulations and internationally accepted disease control guidelines.

When animals affected by a disease are ordered destroyed by the CFIA under the Health of Animals Act, the farmer is also informed that they will receive compensation. The CFIA is dedicated to working directly with affected producers so that the compensation process runs as smoothly as possible.

For animals ordered destroyed, the CFIA bases compensation amounts on the animal's market value (up to a maximum amount as stipulated in the Compensation for Destroyed Animals Regulations), taking into consideration factors such as genetic background, age and production records. For example, a normal eating chicken is assigned a rate of $20 per bird, a breeding chicken is $1200 per bird, a turkey is $70 per bird, and a breeding turkey is $1050 per bird. Please refer to the Schedule in the Regulations for accurate amounts.

Normally, a producer can expect compensation in 6 to 10 weeks.

Beyond the CFIA's compensation, other financial assistance may be available through programs administered by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and, in some cases, provincial or territorial governments. Costs and losses considered by these programs may include business disruption and other extraordinary costs incurred due to disease.

Avian influenza viruses do not pose risks to food safety when poultry and poultry products are properly handled and cooked. Avian influenza rarely affects humans that do not have consistent contact with infected birds. Public health authorities stand ready to take precautionary measures as warranted.

The CFIA has mobilized all available resources to manage this situation. The Agency continues to work closely with the Province of British Columbia, the owners of the infected birds, and the poultry industry to manage this outbreak.

 

 

Released December 2, 2014

 

reliminary testing by the Province of British Columbia has confirmed the presence of H5 avian influenza on two farms in the Fraser Valley; a turkey farm in Abbotsford and a broiler breeder farm in Chilliwack.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has placed the two farms under quarantine to control disease spread and the industry sector has been notified to adopt enhanced biosecurity practices.  Further testing by the CFIA is underway to confirm pathogenicity and to determine the precise subtype and strain of the virus. Pathogenicity refers to the severity of the illness caused in birds. Results are expected within days.

Avian influenza viruses do not pose risks to food safety when poultry and poultry products are properly handled and cooked. Avian influenza rarely affects humans that do not have consistent contact with infected birds. Public health authorities stand ready to take precautionary measures as warranted.

Initial tests for the disease were conducted on December 1 at a British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture laboratory in Abbotsford, after both operations experienced sudden deaths of birds over the weekend.

All birds on the infected premises will be humanely euthanized and disposed of, in accordance with provincial environmental regulations and internationally accepted disease control guidelines. As lead response agency the CFIA will ensure the quarantine of the infected farms, and determine a surrounding surveillance zone for further testing. The CFIA will also lead on required depopulation of birds, while the Province will provide technical support on required carcass disposal. Once all birds have been removed, the CFIA will oversee the cleaning and disinfection of the barns, vehicles, equipment and tools to eliminate any infectious material that may remain.

The Province of British Columbia, the CFIA, the owners of the infected birds, and the poultry industry are working closely together to manage the situation. Both levels of government will work with the poultry industry to address issues as they emerge. The Canadian poultry sector currently practices a high level of biosecurity that reduces the risk of disease spread.  

 

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