UPDATED: Two new farms under quarantine as officials test for avian influenza

Broiler breeder chicken farms that received birds from afflicted operation last Friday have been quarantined as tests are conducted.

Two new Fraser Valley farms have been placed under quarantine as tests are done to determine whether birds there have been infected by the H5 influenza virus discovered earlier this week at farms in Abbotsford and Chilliwack.

One of the farms is located in Abbotsford, the other is in Chilliwack.

Officials say they haven’t confirmed the flu’s presence at the two broiler breeder chicken farms, and only one has seen higher-than-expected mortality numbers in recent days. The numbers of birds affected or on site at the two farms is also not yet known.

In a Wednesday teleconference, officials said the two farms both received birds from a farm where avian influenza was discovered earlier this week.

On Tuesday, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency confirmed that H5 avian influenza had been found at a turkey farm on the Sumas Prairie in Abbotsford and a broiler breeder chicken farm in Chilliwack following a large number of bird deaths at the two sites over the weekend.

By Tuesday’s announcement, half of the Abbotsford’s farm’s 11,000 birds had already died, while 1,000 of the 7,000 chickens at the Chilliwack site had perished. The rest will be destroyed.

“The present mortality does tell us it is a very virulent virus,” the CFIA’s chief veterinary officer, Dr. Harpreet Kochhar, said Wednesday.

Further testing is underway to determine the strain of the influenza and its pathogenicity (the severity of the illness in birds), but Dr. Jane Pritchard, chief veterinarian officer with the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture, said officials are treating it as if it was a high path strain.

It’s not yet known how the virus made its way onto the original affected farms.

Birds from the first broiler breeder farm where the flu was detected were moved to the two newly quarantined sites on Friday, officials said.

Pritchard said that when the birds were brought in for testing on Monday, there were no visible signs of flu on the birds and tests for influenza were only conducted as a matter of protocol. She said officials suspected a bird management or a feed problem had led to the death and were surprised when the influenza test came back positive.

Also on Wednesday, Hong Kong announced that it had banned poultry meat and eggs from the Fraser Valley following the discovery of avian flu at farms in Chilliwack and Abbotsford.

The city’s Centre for Food Safety announced Wednesday that it had banned poultry products “from the district with immediate effect for the protection of Hong Kong’s public health.”

The CFS said in a press release that it imported more than 7,000 tonnes of frozen poultry meat and about 170,000 eggs from Canada between January and October.

“The CFS has contacted the Canadian authority over the issue and will closely monitor information issued by the World Organisation for Animal Health on avian influenza outbreak in the country,” it said in a release. “Appropriate action will be taken in response to the development of the situation.”

Hong Kong has also recently banned poultry products from the Netherlands and the United Kingdom following avian flu outbreaks in those countries, according to the website globalmeatnews.com.

Reuters has also reported that South Korea has banned imports of Canadian Chicks, Japan has banned the importation of B.C. chicks, and Taiwan has imposed restrictions on B.C. poultry products.

The CFIA said avian flu does not “pose risks to food safety when poultry and poultry products are properly handled and cooked” and that the disease rarely affects humans not in contact with afflicted birds.

The turkeys were at an age at which they would likely have been destined for Christmas dinner tables.

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

 

Just Posted

Abbotsford mom stuck in Africa over adoption delay

Kim and Clark Moran have been waiting four weeks to bring son home

Abbotsford election turnout in line with past votes

Thirty-six per cent of eligible Abbotsford voters cast a ballot in Saturday’s municipal election

Chickens die in morning barn fire in Abbotsford

Structure broke out in flames on Leclair Street in Bradner

Abbotsford boy among winners of national recipe contest

Isaac, 10, heads to Ottawa to participate in Kid Food Nation Gala

‘I’m elated’: Braun wins; incumbents returned en masse; Banman back

Henry Braun becomes first incumbent mayor of Abbotsford to win re-election since 1999

VIDEO & SLIDESHOW: Fraser Valley Throwdown 2018

Highlights from the annual crossfit event at Abbotsford Centre

Vancouver mayoral hopefuly admits defeat, congratulates winner Kennedy Stewart

Ken Sim of the Non-Partisan Association apologized for the time it took to acknowledge Stewart won

Mental fitness questioned of man charged in Chilliwack River Valley shooting

Peter Kampos told his lawyer ‘his dreams are being stolen and turned into drugs’ at Surrey Pre-trial

B.C. government moves to tighten resource industry regulations

New superintendent will oversee engineers, biologists, foresters

Election watchdog seeks digitally savvy specialists to zero in on threats

Move follows troublesome evidence of online Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election

More court before Dutch man charged in Amanda Todd case is extradited here

Appeals must be dealt with in Europe, before charges faced in B.C.

Crown says man guilty of B.C. girl’s 1978 murder based on alleged confession

Jury hears details of girl’s 1978 murder while Crown says man should be convicted of girl’s murder based on alleged confession.

Most Read