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B.C. avian flu cases on the rise

B.C. avian flu cases on the rise

The province currently has 38 infected premises

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer
Farms.com

The number of locations infected with bird flu in British Columbia is climbing.

In November, the province has seen 29 premises become infected with the disease, bringing the number to 38 infected overall, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) says.

Of those 29, a majority are located in Chilliwack or Abbotsford. One is in the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako and another is in the District of Kent.

For context, B.C. had six confirmed cases of avian flu in October.

The total number of B.C. birds affected by bird flu is about 428,600 as of Nov. 23, the CFIA reports.

B.C. has experienced bird flu outbreaks three times before – in 2004, 2009 and 2014.

But this current situation is different from those, said Theresa Burns, B.C.’s, chief veterinarian.

“This particular strain, the H5N1 virus, is causing increased mortalities in many of our wild bird species, and when it gets into poultry flocks, it’s also causing increased mortality, she told the Canadian Press on Nov. 15.

With its 38 infected premises, B.C. is the centre of the avian flu outbreak in Canada.

Alberta has 23 current infected premises, though more individual birds, about 1.4 million, have been affected.

In total, Canada has 113 infected premises, the CFIA says. This has affected more than 3.7 million birds.

Culling a flock can be a difficult time for producers.

For any farmer requiring mental health support, Farms.com has compiled a list of mental health and suicide prevention resources.


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