Canadian Poultry Magazine

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Avian influenza found on second SW Ontario farm


April 20, 2015
By Canadian Food Inspection Agency OLPC

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April 20, 2015 –  Preliminary testing by the Province of Ontario has confirmed the presence of H5 avian influenza on a second farm in Oxford County, Ontario. The farm is a broiler breeder chicken farm. 

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has placed the farm under quarantine to control disease spread and the poultry industry has been notified to adopt enhanced biosecurity practices. Further testing by the CFIA is underway to confirm pathogenicity and to determine the precise subtype and strain of the virus. 

Initial tests for the disease were conducted on April 17, 2015 at the Animal Health Laboratory at the University of Guelph, after the chicken farm experienced sudden deaths of birds over several days. 

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The positive premises has been quarantined and destruction of the flock will begin on Monday, April 20.  There are two barns on the infected premise, although only one barn is showing symptoms. 

As with the AI case identified two weeks ago, the no export poultry shipments can transverse  sections of the 401 that extend through quarantine zones.  Domestic poultry movements should not stop except for weigh scales.  This condition is subject to change as this second case is considered by CFIA and export destination countries.  All unessential movement within both zones should be avoided.  

The trace back will look at movements on and off that farm for the past 21 days. That activity is underway.  Currently, this case is being treated as a “pop-up” unconnected to the first case unless the trace back indicates otherwise.  This new case was not on a farm within the control zone initiated by the CFIA last Monday, but is in the same county. 

All birds on the infected premises will be humanely destroyed and disposed of, in accordance with provincial environmental regulations and internationally accepted disease control guidelines. As lead response agency the CFIA will ensure the quarantine of the infected farm, and determine a surrounding surveillance zone for further testing and movement control measures. The CFIA will also lead on required depopulation of birds, while the Province will provide technical support on required carcass disposal. Once all birds have been removed, the CFIA will oversee the cleaning and disinfection of the barns, vehicles, equipment and tools to eliminate any infectious material that may remain. 

The Province of Ontario, the CFIA, the owner of the infected birds, and the poultry industry are working closely together to manage the situation. Both levels of government will work with the poultry industry to address issues as they emerge. The Canadian poultry sector currently practices a high level of biosecurity that reduces the risk of disease spread.