UPDATE: Avian influenza confirmed at ninth Fraser Valley farm

More than 150,000 birds now affected by "highly virulent" H5N2 bird flu strain.

Avian influenza has been detected at another Abbotsford poultry farm, bringing the total number of farms where the virus has been detected to nine.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) confirmed Friday that the virus has been detected at a Fraser Valley farm that had been under investigation when the agency held its last press conference on Wednesday.

The CFIA did not respond say where the farm was located, nor how many birds are affected.

At least 155,000 birds have now either already died or been euthanized, or will be killed as officials try to stop the disease from spreading further.

On 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.

On Wednesday, the CFIA had announced the virus had been discovered at two new farms.

“This identification of additional farms is not unexpected given that avian influenza is highly contagious,” he told reporters. “The fact that these farms were identified quickly underscores industry’s commitment to supporting the response effort by immediately reporting any signs of illness.”

The CFIA has finished “depopulating” the first four farms of birds, and efforts are now underway at the fifth farm. Birds at the newly affected farms will also be killed in the days to come.

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.”

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