Avian influenza detected on Langley farm

Virus has now been detected at 10 farms, with 233,800 birds affected.

A restricted zone put in place around farms affected by avian influenza now covers much of the Eastern Fraser Valley.

Avian influenza has been detected at a Langley farm, the furthest point east the virus has been detected since the outbreak began two weeks ago.

The outbreak in those barns was confirmed Saturday, affecting another table-egg-laying 53,000 birds and hiking the total number of poultry to be destroyed up to 233,800.

The virus has now been detected at 10 farms, although two of those farms are located on the same Abbotsford property. All the previously disclosed infected sites were based in Abbotsford or Chilliwack.

Last Friday, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) confirmed that the virus had been detected at a 7,000-bird Abbbotsford farm that previously been under investigation.

At least 180,000 birds have now either already died or been euthanized, or will be killed as officials try to stop the disease from spreading further.

Last Wednesday, CFIA chief veterinary officer Dr. Harpreet Kochhar said the discovery of more affected sites would not be a shock.

“In spite of the measures, there is a possibility that this could show up in other farms and this is something that is attributed to the highly virulent and highly pathogenic of the avian influenza virus,” he said.

In an effort to control the spread of the virus, movement restrictions have been put in place on all poultry in Southern British Columbia, with areas surrounding the farms affected under increased scrutiny and restrictions.

Officials still have not identified the source of the disease, he said.

Meanwhile, Singapore has also announced a ban on Canadian poultry products, bringing to the list of countries with trade restrictions on poultry to eight, including the United States and Mexico.

Officials say the virus does “not pose risks to food safety when poultry and poultry products are properly handled and cooked.”

-with files from Canadian Press

 

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