PJXM News will be updating the public on Avian Flu incidents from our coverage regions when new information becomes available. Below is the latest news from the BC government and the Regional District of Bulkley Valley…
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has confirmed that a small poultry flock in the Regional District of Central Kootenay has tested positive for the highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza virus.
B.C.’s Ministry of Agriculture and Food continues to work closely with the CFIA and B.C. poultry producers to ensure enhanced prevention and preparedness measures are in place to protect poultry flocks in B.C.
The infected premises has been placed under quarantine by the CFIA and the ministry has notified producers within a 12-kilometre radius of the positive test results.
Owners of small or backyard flocks are urged to continue to be vigilant and have appropriate preventative measures in place. Measures include eliminating or reducing opportunities for poultry to encounter wild birds, reducing human access to the flock, and increased cleaning, disinfection and sanitization of all things (including clothing and footwear) when entering areas where flocks are housed.
Additionally, seven wild birds that died between April 20 and 27 have also tested positive for H5 strains of avian influenza. The seven include three snow geese and one Canada goose in the Vanderhoof area, and individual bald eagles from Lac la Hache (near 100 Mile House), Bowen Island and Vancouver. These cases follow a similar finding in a bald eagle in Delta this month, and one in Vancouver in February.
These findings were reported through B.C.’s wild bird mortality surveillance program which gathers samples from sick and dead birds, as well as sediment samples from wetlands on which the birds gather. The surveillance is a partnership between federal and provincial agencies and the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative.
Avian influenza is a federally regulated disease. The CFIA leads the investigation and response with provincial support for testing, mapping, surveillance and disposal.
The Ministry of Agricultrue and Food strongly recommends and requests that all small lot and backyard flock poultry and domestic waterfowl producers avoid commingling.
If a flock is suffering from any unexplained clinical signs or increased mortality, bird owners should contact a professional for help and sampling.
Do not take sick birds off the property. Contain any deceased birds in a secure container to prevent further spread to humans, pets or wildlife.
If a bird owner suspects their flock is infected:
To receive assistance or to report any unexplained poultry illness or mortality, contact:
• your private veterinarian, OR
• call the nearest Canada Food Inspection Agency Office (in Prince George at 250-561-6924), Or
• the BC Ministry of Agriculture and Food, Animal Health Centre at 1-800-661-9903
Bird owners are legally responsible to notify authorities of serious bird diseases such as bird flu.