Glacier FarmMedia COVID-19 & the Farm

H5N2-infected broilers being destroyed in B.C.

Flock depopulation is underway on a broiler breeder farm infected with a severe strain of H5N2 avian flu at Chilliwack, B.C.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency announced Friday it’s begun the process of “humanely euthanizing” the farm’s surviving chickens. The same depopulation and disposal process will follow “in the coming days” at three other Fraser Valley poultry farms, all in the Abbotsford area.

The Chilliwack farm and a turkey farm at Abbotsford were confirmed this week with high-pathogenicity (“high-path”) H5N2, while the two other Abbotsford farms are still “presumptive positive” for an H5 strain of avian flu.

Local police are helping to secure the area and control traffic, “to allow for the movement of equipment and machinery involved” in the process, the agency said.

CFIA’s chief veterinary officer Dr. Harpreet Kochhar, on a conference call Friday, said the four farms so far are the only ones to have been tested and/or shown symptoms of avian flu. “No other birds have shown symptoms in the vicinity at the current time,” he said.

After the birds are euthanized and removed, CFIA said, the agency will oversee the cleaning and disinfection of the farms’ barns, vehicles, equipment and tools to “eliminate any infectious material that may remain.”

The high-path H5N2 outbreaks have cost Canada its status as free of high-path avian flu, which it’s held since 2008.

H5N2, a subtype known to affect both wild and domestic birds, appeared in its low-path form on a pair of poultry farms near Abbotsford in early 2009, and again in low-path form in late 2010 on a turkey breeding operation in Manitoba’s Interlake region. –– Network



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