Canadian Poultry Magazine

Second Niagara farm hit by respiratory virus this month

Brett Ruffell   

News Broilers

Infectious laryngotracheitis discovered in another commercial broiler flock.

A second broiler farm in Niagara, Ont., has discovered Infectious Laryngotracheitis (ILT) in a 19,992-bird flock, according to the Feather Board Command Centre.

The highly contagious virus, which affects the respiratory system in poultry, cannot be transferred to humans, and doesn’t present a food safety issue.

Today’s report comes 12 days after an ILT outbreak at a commercial broiler chicken operation in Smithville was reported on Dec. 2. The most recent farm is located 700 metres southeast of the initial outbreak, according to a Dec. 14 FBCC advisory.


“Cleaning, disinfection, and heat treatment have been completed. The farm is in self quarantine and working closely with their veterinarian. Plans are to vaccinate the next crop of chicks at the hatchery,” the advisory read.

A biosecurity advisory area with a 10 km radius was established by the FBCC earlier this month and has since been extended half a kilometre eastward toward Victoria Avenue.

“We don’t have definitive proof that it spread from the first farm to this farm, but it’s certainly possible,” said Dr. Tom Baker, a veterinarian and feather board incident commander, during a Monday phone call.

The virus can travel on dust particles blown by wind and spread from one farm to another without any direct contact.

Given how highly contagious the virus is, any unvaccinated poultry (especially older birds) are at a high risk of becoming infected.

Baker said the FBCC is encouraging chicken farmers to give “serious thought” to vaccinating.

Farmers and service providers are being advised to pay extra attention to already established biosecurity programs.

For essential visits to poultry farms within the biosecurity advisory area, workers are encouraged to wear clean boots, protective suits, hats and gloves and to wash hands.

Deliveries to and from poultry farms within the area should be done at the end of a route and truck wheel wells, tires and steps should all be disinfected. Trucks should also not travel to another farm within 12 hours.

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