The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is teaming up with provincial governments to deliver information sessions aimed at helping small flock and pet bird owners prevent and detect disease in their birds.
The first three sessions will be held in February in Guelph, Ont., Truro, N.S. and Abbotsford, B.C. The sessions will be open to the general public. All small flock and pet bird owners and enthusiasts are encouraged to attend. “These sessions will be an excellent opportunity for bird owners to learn moreabout bird diseases such as avian influenza and exotic Newcastle disease,” says Dr. Jim Clark, National Manager of the CFIA’s Avian Influenza Working Group. Among the topics on the agenda will be biosecurity — or the measures thatcan be taken to prevent the introduction and spread of disease among animals.Practical information will be provided on the simple steps small flock owners can take to keep their birds healthy. For example, there will be demonstrations on how to effectively clean and disinfect bird cages and other equipment using common household cleaning products and disinfectants.
The sessions will also feature presentations on spotting the signs of disease in birds, and how governments respond to outbreaks of bird diseases.
“The disease response presentation will provide clarity on how these situations are handled,” says Dr. Clark. “The recent avian influenza response in Saskatchewan is a good example of how small flocks in the vicinity of an avian-influenza infected farm are often not depopulated unless there is a confirmed presence of the virus in the birds. All incidents are assessed on a case-by-case basis.”
In addition to the presentations, kiosks will be set up for various subjects and government and industry representatives will be on hand to answer questions related to bird diseases, disease response and biosecurity.
The CFIA is planning additional sessions later in 2008 and 2009.
For more information about the sessions, call the CFIA at 1-800-442-2342 or visit their website at www.inspection.gc.ca.
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