Seven Fraser Valley poultry farms quarantined for avian flu


Six commercial poultry farms in Abbotsford and one in Chilliwack have been placed under quarantine by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) after testing positive for highly pathogenic avian influenza.

The positive tests came from farms between Nov. 16 and 19 and bring the number of B.C. farms affected this year to 36.

The BC government sent out a public notice Monday afternoon and notified growers within a 10-kilometre radius of each farm of the positive test results.

“Since the first confirmation of avian influenza in 2022 in BC poultry in mid-April, there have been 36 cases in BC,” it says. “Eighteen before June and 18 since September after the start of the fall migration. Of the 36 cases, 14 were on commercial farms, 21 in small flocks and one in a captive wild bird.

The risk of avian influenza for commercial poultry farms and small flocks increases each spring and fall as waterfowl and other birds follow their migratory routes. The CFIA reports that approximately 275,800 birds have been affected so far in British Columbia this year, out of 3.7 million birds affected in Canada.

Earlier this year, the disease was discovered in Canada geese that died or were sick at Mill Lake in Abbotsford.

The CFIA is leading the avian flu investigation and response with provincial support for testing, mapping, surveillance and elimination. They are working with the Ministry of Agriculture and Food and BC poultry producers to ensure enhanced prevention and preparedness measures are in place.

An order was issued Sept. 14 requiring all regulated, quota-holding chicken and turkey farms to maintain indoor operations. On October 14, a second order was issued requiring birds not to be taken to “mixing” events, including auctions, poultry swaps, bird shows and fairs.

To help prepare small herd owners, the ministry is hosting free online information sessions November 30 and December 5, 2022. To register, visit EventBrite and search Ministry of Agriculture and Food.

Poultry owners who suspect or confirm a case in their flock should report it to the CFIA at 403-338-5225 or by email at [email protected]

The Wild Bird Mortality Investigation Program hotline, 1-866-431-2473, accepts public reports of dead wild birds.

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