Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Avian flu hits B.C. again

Avian influenza has struck again in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia, apparently spread from wild fowl to a turkey farm near Abbotsford and a broiler farm near Chilliwack.

Both flocks have been slaughtered. Half of the 11,000 turkeys died and 1,000 of the 7,000 chickens.

Tests are underway to determine what strain of H5 avian influenza is involved. If it is a high-path strain, it will curb Canada’s poutry exports. If it is a low-path strain, it will be less deadly but its impact on trade will be variable.

Results are expected by Thursday.

Between 50 and 75 poultry farms are caught within quarantine zones established immediately after officials identified avian influenza as the cause of bird deaths.

The turkey farm was one of those hit by H5N2 avian influenza in 2009.