Farmers think migratory birds spreading avian influenza

Virus has been detected in wild birds in Washington State

While the source of the avian influenza virus that has infected several local farms still hasn’t been confirmed, local farmers believe wild birds are the most likely culprit, according to the president of the BC Chicken Growers’ Association (BCCGA).

On Monday, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) announced that an egg-laying operation in Langley had become the 10th farm to be affected by the outbreak of the “highly pathogenic” H5N2 virus. A total of 233,800 birds have now either died from the outbreak, or been ordered euthanized.

On Tuesday, officials in Washington State said avian influenza had been found in a pintail duck and a gyrfalcon in Whatcom county, which borders Canada.

BCCGA president Ravi Bathe, who runs a 90,000-bird broiler chicken operation in Abbotsford, said farmers have been doing their utmost to stop the virus from spreading.

“The farmers are doing everything they can and sometimes it’s out of their control,” he said Tuesday morning. “This is coming through the migratory bird population, we think, and what are you going to do? … we need ventilation, we need air to get in the barns.”

In a report to the World Organization for Animal Health, the CFIA wrote: “the H5N2 virus detected in B.C. contains five of eight gene segments from highly pathogenic Eurasian H5N8 virus including the H5 gene and three of eight segments from typical North American viruses including the N2 gene (wild bird origin).”

Earlier in the week, in an email to the News, the CFIA said that the specific strain currently affecting Abbotsford farms has not been detected in wild birds in Canada, although surveillance and testing continues.

Just Posted

New policy may curb Abbotsford’s participation in youth health survey

Schools making consent policy stricter; survey officials say similar policies affect participation

Murder victim Jagvir Malhi was not involved in gangs, says IHIT

Investigators say Abbotsford man was ‘associated to those involved’ in conflict

Hire a “Mr. or Ms. Abbotsford” to promote investment, consultants tell city

Report recommends city hire an on-the-ground trade representative in India to promote investment

Remembering Barry Stewart

Long-time Abbotsford teacher, coach and sports figure celebrated

Abbotsford Police partner with registry to reunite stolen bikes with owners

Registration can be done online with 529 Garage or at event on Nov. 24

VIDEOS & SLIDESHOW: Abbotsford Christmas activities

Highlights from Highstreet, West Coast Christmas Show and Cabela’s

Former NHL player and coach Dan Maloney dies at 68

Maloney coached the Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets

Ex-MSU president charged with lying to police about Nassar

Lou Anna Simon was charged Tuesday with lying to police during an investigation

Police looking into two more incidents at private Toronto all-boys’ school

Police and the school have said two of the prior incidents involved an alleged sexual assault

Police aim to prevent retaliation after Hells Angel found dead under B.C. bridge

IHIT confirms Chad Wilson, 43, was the victim of a ‘targeted’ homicide

Otter makes a snack out of koi fish in Vancouver Chinese garden

Staff say the otter has eaten at least five fish

B.C. lumber mills struggle with shortage of logs, price slump

Signs of recovery after U.S. market swings, industry executive says

25% of Canadians still won’t say they use pot, survey says

Statistics Canada poll says Canadians on average were 18.9 years old when they first tried pot.

Canucks’ 50/50 jackpot expected to surpass $1 million

The guaranteed prize for one lucky winner will be $500,000 minimum when Vancouver hosts LA Nov 27

Most Read