AI continues march across North America

by Erica Shaffer
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MADISON, Wis. – State officials in Wisconsin ordered a ban on poultry movement to shows, exhibitions and swap meets in Jefferson, Juneau or Barron counties. Wisconsin has three confirmed cases of avian influenza.

“We are taking the necessary precautions to limit the spread of avian influenza throughout the state of Wisconsin,” said Dr. Paul McGraw, state veterinarian at the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP).

The ban prohibits any movement of poultry to, or participation in, any shows, exhibitions or swap meets held in the counties where H5N2 has already been found. “Gathering poultry together increases the chances of exposure to the virus,” McGraw said. “Returning the same poultry to their home farms increases the likelihood of spreading the disease.”

Also prohibited from movement are flocks enrolled in the National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP); a flock that qualifies as an affiliate flock under the NPIP; or a flock that is enrolled as a Wisconsin tested flock or associate flock.

Preliminary tests confirmed the presence of a H5 strain of avian influenza at a broiler breeder farm in Oxford County, Ontario, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency reported. This is the second case of AI at a southern Ontario farm.

CFIA is working to confirm pathogenicity and the subtype and strain of the virus. The agency said 27,000 birds on the farm will be culled.

Wild migratory birds are known to carry the avian influenza virus, the agency noted. The detection of the virus in British Columbia, Ontario and along the Mississippi and Pacific Flyways indicate that the virus is still active within migratory bird populations, CFIA said.

In response to the situation and resulting trade restrictions on Canadian poultry and poultry products, the agency established an avian influenza control zone covering a 10 km radius from the first farm confirmed to be infected with the virus in Oxford County. The zone includes 29 premises.

“The establishment of individual quarantines and the Avian Influenza Control Zone is part of an internationally accepted practice to allow trade to continue from non-infected areas of a country,” the agency said at the time. The establishment of this zone will contribute to the alleviation of market access restrictions.”

The US recognized the control zone and resumed trade from outside the zone on April 13.
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