Ontario prohibits commingling of birds to curb AI spread

The order is set to expire October 22
calendar icon 27 September 2022
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The Canadian province of Ontario's Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) has issued an order to limit the commingling of birds from different locations in the province. The aim of the move is to reduce the likelihood of disease transmission in domestic birds by limiting direct contact, said the Cathy Furness, chief veterinarian for the province.

The order follows the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's (CFIA)confirmation of highly pathogenic avian influenza cases in Ontario domestic poultry.

"While the CFIA leads the disease response for highly pathogenic avian influenza and may impose permitting requirements in defined areas of the province, I am writing to inform you and your members of the action that the province is taking to help limit the spread of the virus," Furness wrote. 

Effective September 23, 2022, the Order temporarily prohibits events where birds commingle, such as bird shows, bird sales and swaps, portions of fairs where birds are exhibited, sport and educational displays where birds are brought from multiple locations, vaccination gatherings for birds from multiple locations, and prohibits the movement of birds to those events. Temporarily reducing direct contact between birds from different locations will limit the spread of avian influenza and protect flock health.

The order will expire on October 22, 2022 but may be extended if required. 

"I also encourage your members to maintain strict biosecurity measures to help reduce the risk of introducing avian influenza to their birds," said Furness.

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