Thursday, April 9, 2015

H5N2 confirmed in Woodstock-area turkey farm

The avian influenza that killed most of a flock of 12,000 turkeys near Woodstock is the H5N2 strain, the same strain that hit British Columbia’s poultry industry hard around Christmas and that has infected birds in nine states in the United States.

The Woodstock-area outbreak appears to have been contained on the one farm.

Meanwhile, in Minnesota 310,00-bird turkey flock owned by Hormel Corp. has become the third within 48 hours to be confirmed as infected. There are now nine turkey flocks in that state that have been hit.

The outbreaks are devastating for the farms affected, but also for neighbours who are put under strict quarantines that forbid any movement on or off their farms.

The outbreaks have also disrupted global trade in poultry, including breeding stocks that account for most commercial turkey production on a global scale.

The Van Der Molen Open House in Jarvis, Ontario, scheduled for Friday, April 10, has been postponed due to heightened biosecurity protocols. A new date has not been set at this time.

Quota holders are being advised to step up biosecurity.

This is the notice posted on the chicken board’s website:

‘Should farmer-members suspect any signs of health concerns in your flock, please contact your veterinarian and CFO by phoning the 24-hour emergency hotline 1-877-SOS-BYRD. 
Heightened biosecurity protocols include:
   Alerting any visitors to the farm that there is heightened biosecurity and keep a logbook of movement in relation to the farm
   Minimizing visits to other poultry production sites
   Avoiding exchanging equipment with other poultry production sites
   Ensuring all vehicles that access the affected site are properly washed and disinfected
   Ensuring all personnel in contact with birds wear boots, protective suits, head coverings and gloves/hand washing
   Securing all laneways to restrict all unnecessary traffic

Ensuring adequate control of wild birds.