AI Response Continues in British Columbia

OTTAWA - The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has started the humane euthanization of approximately 60,000 birds on the infected premises in British Columbia where H5 avian influenza has been confirmed.
calendar icon 27 January 2009
clock icon 3 minute read

Humans 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 will take precautionary measures as warranted.

The CFIA’s actions are consistent with international scientific recommendations and guidelines and significant experience in previous avian influenza detections and training exercises. The birds are being euthanized with carbon dioxide (CO2) gas. Federal and provincial animal welfare experts are on hand to oversee this process.

Once the depopulation is complete, the birds will be composted inside the barn and temperatures monitored to ensure virus destruction. Seven to 10 days following composting, the composted material will be moved outside for normal composting on farm. These protocols respect provincial environmental regulations and internationally accepted disease control and biocontainment guidelines.

The CFIA will provide compensation to producers for the market value of all birds ordered destroyed through this investigation, as well as any costs the producer may incur associated with disposal. Assistance is also available through other federal and provincial programs.

Twenty-three other poultry operations within the three-kilometre radius around the infected farm remain under quarantine and are being closely monitored for signs of illness. Any movement of birds and poultry products from the premises under quarantine requires a negative flock test for avian influenza prior to movement for any purpose.

Outside of the three-kilometre radius, one other farm has also been placed under quarantine. As a precaution, birds on that premises will be tested for avian influenza.

Meanwhile, testing continues at a CFIA laboratory to confirm the pathogenicity, subtype and strain of the virus. Results should be known within days.

New information will be provided to the public as it becomes available.

Further Reading

- Go to our previous news item on this story by clicking here.
- You can visit the Avian Flu page by clicking here.
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