Eight poultry farms under quarantine in Southwestern Ontario
By Helen Branswell the Canadian PressFeatures Barn Management Production Poultry Production Production
April 7, 2015 – Eight poultry farms in southwestern Ontario have been placed under quarantine as a “proactive measure to assure containment and minimization of the potential for spread of the disease,” said Paul Mayers, vice-president for policy and programs for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency on a media call this afternoon.
The virus, of the H5 subtype, has been found on one farm in an area densely populated with poultry operations. The other farms have been quarantined because of their proximity to the affected farm.
Mayers said additional farms may be added to the quarantine list in the coming days. The National Centre for Foreign Animal Diseases in Winnipeg is conducting testing to determine the neuraminidase — the N in a flu virus’s name — subtype of the virus.
They will want to see if the culprit is an H5N2 virus that has been hopscotching among poultry operations in British Columbia and a number of U.S. states since late last year.
In addition to B.C.’s Fraser Valley — where an outbreak that started last December appears to be under control — this virus has been found in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Minnesota, South Dakota, Montana, Kansas, Arizona and Missouri.
The lab is also testing to see if the virus is highly pathogenic or of low pathogenicity. But given its behaviour so far, that seems to be almost a forgone conclusion.
The outbreak was discovered when turkeys on the affected farm starting to die last Friday. To date approximately 7,500 birds have died, said Dr. Greg Douglas, Ontario’s chief veterinarian. That is out of a flock of 12,000.
Low path bird flu viruses can diminish egg production but they do not typically kill poultry. Douglas said the remaining birds on that farm will be euthanized humanely.
Japan and Taiwan have already barred poultry from Ontario in response to this outbreak, Mayers said. Meanwhile, 10 countries continue to ban poultry from Canada because of the H5N2 outbreak that hit British Columbia.
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