Over 50 B.C. farms infected with avian influenza in the last 55 days

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While the number of new cases each week has started to drop with the end of the fall migration, the tally of poultry farms in B.C. infected with highly pathogenic avian influenza this fall has surpassed the 50 mark as of this week.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has confirmed the virus on 47 commercial farms and five small-flock farms since the province’s first case of the fall on Oct. 20. The infected farms are all in or near the the Fraser Valley, from Surrey to Harrison Hot Springs.

“There are currently no anticipated food supply disruptions of either eggs or poultry due to the virus,” the province says.

In a Dec. 14 update, the government says B.C. agriculture department staff are continuing to work closely with the CFIA and poultry producers to ensure enhanced biosecurity measures are in place to try to limit the spread of disease and protect flocks.

The B.C. Poultry Association will be hosting a webinar for producers, supported by B.C.’s Ministry of Agriculture and Food, CFIA, and public health officials, on Tuesday, Dec. 19, where information will be shared regarding biosecurity measures and AgriStability, along with a general update on the outbreak.

The number of cases in B.C. is similar to last year, when more than 70 commercial farms tested positive between October and the end of the fall outbreak, which extended into the middle January 2023.

Elsewhere across the country, there have been at least nine cases on commercial farms in Alberta this fall, while Saskatchewan has had six. Quebec’s count this fall is up to four, while Manitoba has had one commercial farm infected. There have been no confirmed cases on commercial farms in Ontario since April.

10.9 million on-farm birds have been affected in Canada by the ongoing 2022-23 H5N1 outbreak.

Related:

Avian influenza rearing its head with fall migration

Ag Policy Connection Ep. 6 — Building the playbook for avian influenza (and other animal health threats)

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