Monday, November 2, 2015

Canada Issues Notice on HPAI for Backyard Flock Owners

Written by Katharine Richter

On October 22, 2015, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) issued a general public notice warning that there exists a “significant threat of the re-emergence of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) in the fall of 2015.”  During the American outbreak, which killed 47.5 million chickens, Canada lost approximately 250,000 birds in Ontario and British Columbia. 

The warning issued focused on using biosecurity in order to prevent backyard flocks and pet birds from contracting HPAI.  With the decrease of temperature coming, there is concern that the virus will re-emerge because the virus thrives in cooler temperatures.  CFIA issued practices for individuals with birds to follow which include preventing contact with wild birds and other animals, limiting contact with visitors and knowing how to spot and monitor symptoms of illness.

The CFIA notice all contains additional material for individuals seeking guidance on how to protect birds from HPAI at the producer level down to owners of backyard flocks.

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