CFIA begins destruction of birds affected by avian flu outbreak

Chickens at a Chilliwack broiler breeder farm first to be 'depopulated.'

Canadian Food Inspection Agency workers are on scene at an Abbotsford turkey farm quarantined after the discovery of avian flu.

Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) officials have begun to destroy birds at farms affected by the avian flu outbreak that hit the Fraser Valley this week.

A total of 80,000 birds have either already died from the virus or will be killed by carbon dioxide in the days to come. Their bodies will be recycled on site, after which vehicles, tools and buildings at the affected farms will be cleaned and disinfected

A Chilliwack broiler breeder chicken farm will be the first to be ‘de-populated,’ CFIA chief veterinarian Harpreet Kochar said Friday at a tele-conference. The farm had 13,000 birds.

Birds at three other farms in Abbotsford – a 28,000-bird turkey farm and two broiler breeder farms, with 14,000 and 25,000 birds, respectively – will be killed in the coming days. (The province had previously said that one of the broiler breeder farms were located in Chilliwack, but chief veterinary officer Dr. Jane Pritchard said Friday three of the four barns were located in Abbotsford).

International regulations require officials to kill all birds on farms where avian flu is detected, Kochar said.

The owners of the farms affected will receive compensation for destroyed birds in line with federal guidelines. Turkeys for meat production will fetch $70 each in compensation, while chicken farmers will be compensated with $60 for each parent breeding bird. The total amount of compensation paid to farmers will be at least $4.78 million, with more possible if the chickens birds are grandparent breeders.

Watch abbynews.com for more information as it becomes available.

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