Low-pathogenic A.I. detected in British Columbia

by Bryan Salvage
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OTTAWA, ONTARIO -- According to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, the presence of the H5 avian influenza virus in a commercial poultry operation was confirmed in southern British Columbia. Tests indicate that the strain of AI is low pathogenic. Additional testing is under way to determine the subtype and strain of the virus.

All birds on the infected premises will be culled, in accordance with provincial environmental regulations and international guidelines. After the suspected flocks are destroyed, the CFIA will oversee the cleaning and disinfection of the barns, vehicles, equipment and tools to eliminate any infectious material.

The CFIA is also applying restrictions on the movement of poultry and poultry products within three kilometers of the infected premises. The agency is relying on all backyard poultry owners to monitor their flocks and immediately report sick or dead birds. Poultry owners are urged to take an active role in protecting their flocks by employing strict biosecurity measures on their property.

The CFIA is investigating any recent movement of birds, bird products and equipment onto and off of the infected property.

Animal health and public health authorities from the Province of B.C., local poultry specialists and industry are actively collaborating in this response effort. The CFIA is conducting a thorough epidemiological investigation of the premises.

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