December 09, 2014 - 6:55 AM
VANCOUVER - Almost half of British Columbia has been designated as a control zone by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency in an effort to stop the spread of avian flu in commercial poultry.
Restrictions become more strict in the zone depending on how close farms are to infected operations and mean farmers need to get permits to move poultry, their products and equipment.
The zone boundaries are the Pacific Ocean, the U.S. border to the south, the B.C., Alberta boundary, and Highway 16 that intersects the province at Prince George.
Dr. Harpreet Kochhar (koh-char), the agency's chief veterinary officer, says producers will need permits to ensure the birds are tested for the flu before they're moved to market.
The United States, Mexico, South Africa and several Asian countries have imposed a variety of trade restrictions on poultry from either Canada or British Columbia after five farms tested positive for the flu.
Kochhar says the control zone shows other countries Canada is taking action against the flu and that will allow trade restrictions to be limited to B.C. or the Fraser Valley.
News from © The Canadian Press, 2014