Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Avian flu still rampant

Canada’s poultry industry can sympathize with farmers in Asia and Europe who have been hit by multiple outbreaks of avian influenza.

Since the first outbreak little more than two months ago, South Korea has lost more than 30 million chickens and ducks and about $830 million, France has had more than 80 outbreaks with another one this week near Niort, the Irish Farmers Association is calling on a ban on all visits to poultry farms to supplement biosecurity measures that already are in place after another outbreak in Wexford County last week, a flock of chickens and ducks was hit by H5N8 in Wales, Scotland recorded its first case of the same strain and England found avian flu in wild birds in Somerset, Leicestershire and Gloucestershire.

Canadian poultry farmers in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia were devastated twice and Ontario lost two turkey and one broiler breeder chicken flock last year.

Far more worrisome for Ontario’s poultry industry were strict quarantines and virtually no visitors allowed on poultry farms.