Avian flu outbreak on North Okanagan farm | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Avian flu outbreak on North Okanagan farm

Image Credit: PEXELS

The B.C. government has confirmed an outbreak of avian influenza on a North Okanagan farm.

A media release from the Ministry of Agriculture and Food issued today, April 14, confirmed the outbreak but doesn't name the individual farm or what community it is in.

"With the recent confirmation of avian influenza in several provinces and U.S. states, the Ministry of Agriculture and Food has been working closely with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and B.C. poultry producers to ensure enhanced prevention and preparedness measures are being taken to protect poultry flocks in B.C.," the media release stated.

"Despite these efforts, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency has confirmed the presence of avian influenza at a farm in the Regional District of North Okanagan," the release said. "The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is leading the investigation and response, with provincial support for testing, mapping, surveillance and disposal.

"The ministry has also activated its emergency operations centre and will work with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, producers, industry and other stakeholders to effectively respond to this outbreak and any others that may occur in B.C."

The Ministry is requesting that all poultry farms, including those with backyard chickens, be very vigilant and monitor for signs of avian influenza in their birds.

"To further protect farmers and prevent the spread of avian influenza in B.C., the deputy chief veterinarian has issued an order requiring all commercial poultry flocks in the province with more than 100 birds to be moved indoors until the spring migration ends in May," the release stated. "If avian influenza is suspected, poultry producers should immediately contact their local veterinarian or the provincial Animal Health Centre for advice and information."

The Ministry says that the risk to public health is extremely low and there is no risk to food safety.

"I know this is an incredibly stressful time for our poultry and egg producers. They have endured so much over the past two years. They have shown they are truly resilient. We are here to help, and we will work together to get through this," the release said.

For information on avian influenza from the Ministry of Agriculture and Food go here.

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