Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Avian flu hits three U.S.poultry markets

Hard on the heels of an outbreak on a 14,000-bird duck farm at St. Catharines, the United States Department of Agriculture has confirmed three outbreaks of avian influenza.

The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) found evidence of low-pathogenicity avian flu at three live-poultry markets in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.

APHIS this week confirmed the presence of H5 bird flu virus during routine testing. The strain in the flock at St. Catharines is H5N2. That flock has been euthanized and there is a three-kilometre quarantine zone where nothing can move with a permit from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

U.S. authorities are working to trace the possible sources of the virus and have closed the affected markets, which usually supply fresh poultry from backyard breeders and commercial farms to specific ethnic markets or groups.

The agency also said the affected markets are following established protocols for responding to avian influenza outbreaks of any kind, including market closures, poultry depopulation or sales and cleaning and disinfection of the affected areas. 

USDA also plans to report the LPAI findings to the World Organization for Animal Health in its regular six-month and annual animal health reports in addition to reporting the findings immediately to trading partners with bilateral agreements. That includes Canada.