Avian influenza spreads to more farms in British Columbia
Canadian officials confirmed the presence of avian influenza on two additional farms and another barn in British Columbia, bringing the total number of infected premises to eight. Avian influenza is highly contagious between birds and can spread rapidly.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is continuing its investigation into the outbreak in British Columbia's Fraser Valley.
Officials in British Colombia have also notified CFIA representatives of another farm where avian influenza is likely to be present. If confirmed, this would be the ninth infected premises. Testing is underway, and results are expected within the next day.
Birds have been humanely euthanized on four farms, and depopulation activities have begun on the fifth farm. The remaining farms will be depopulated in the coming days.
According to the Associated Press, the outbreak has led seven countries to ban poultry products from British Columbia or Canada. Countries include the US, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, China, South Africa and Mexico. No humans have been reported ill as a result of the outbreak and the virus does not pose a food safety risk to humans if the poultry products are properly handled and prepared.
The CFIA said it has mobilized all available resources to manage this situation. The Agency continues to work closely with the Province of British Columbia, the owners of the infected birds, and the poultry industry to manage this outbreak.