Monday, June 8, 2015

Canada declares B.C. free of avian flu

Canada has notified the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) that as of June 3, 2015, British Columbia is considered free of notifiable avian influenza.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says “this declaration is based on the successful completion of a three-month surveillance period following the eradication of notifiable avian influenza in domestic poultry in the province.”

Countries are required to report outbreaks of high-pathogenic strains of avian influenza, but not low-pathogenic strains.

British Columbia had about a dozen farms hit by avian influenza beginning just before Christmas. There have been no more outbreaks there since the end of January.

Ontario has, however, had three outbreaks in April, all in Oxford County. They were at two turkey farms and one broiler breeder hatching egg farm.

Many countries require the entire country to be free of avian influenza before they will allow a resumption of trade. Others, including the United States, recognize regional controls.

“The cooperation of the commercial poultry industry, individual bird owners, the province of British Columbia and local authorities were instrumental in the disease eradication effort in B.C.,” says the CFIA.

“Trading partners who recognized Canadian disease control zones may now choose to resume trade in poultry and poultry products from British Columbia,” says the CFIA statement posted on its website.

“Canada will work toward the resumption of trade as quickly as possible.”