Sunday, April 19, 2015

Broiler breeder farm hit with avian flu

A broiler breeder farm in Oxford County has been hit with an H5 avian influenza virus.

It’s the second poultry operation in the county to be hit with the virus.

The chicken farm is under quarantine and the birds will be euthanized.

Birds began dying and the first samples went to the Animal Health Laboratory at Guelph on April 17 (Friday). So far the sub-type has not been identified, but H5N2 is the strain that wiped out the Oxford turkey flock and that has infected dozens of flocks along the Mississippi River flyway for migrating birds.

Only one of two barns on the farm has been infected.

So far there has been no word whether the broiler breeder farm might have been infected from the turkey farm, but it seems unlikely because they are 30 kilometres apart. At the turkey farm, only one of four barns tested positive for H5N2, but all of the birds have been euthanized.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency normally establishes a five-kilometer quarantine zone, banning all movement of poultry in and out of the zone. In the case of the turkey farm, that has been doubled to 10 kilometers, probably so exports of breeding stock can continue to the United States.