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FBCC provides Avian Influenza update

FBCC provides Avian Influenza update

Incidents of Avian Influenza may be hitting a plateau, according to the feather Board Command Centre (FBCC) in its summation of events up to the end of May 2022.

By Andrew Joseph, Farms.com;

Feather Board Command Centre, aka the FBCC, has releases its summation of Avian Influenza events up to the end of May 2022.

Good news first! FBCC believes that with the time between new detections of avian influenza in commercial flocks getting longer, the North American outbreak is hitting a plateau.

Warmer, drier weather may also be reducing how long avian influenza can survive in the environment.

Additionally, tightened biosecurity measures have helped control the lateral spread of the virus going from farm to farm.

The majority of the most recent cases have, the FBCC states, been in backyard flocks, which suggests that the Avian Influenza virus is now primarily spread via wild birds in the environment.

Ontario Update
Ontario is reporting a total of 26 infected flocks (474,000 birds) to date (end of May 2022), with the most recent occurring on May 19, 2022, in York Region.

There have been 20 commercial and six small flocks infected across the province. Seven flocks are from the four Ontario feather boards.

Recovery is underway, however. Due to the successful completion of specific disease response milestone activities as prescribed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), reduced movement restrictions were placed on 24 of the infected zones within the 25 primary control zones (PCZs):

  • Commercial placements in 19 infected zones (0-3km) are now possible with a CFIA Specific Permit;
  • 18 infected zones have now been released. This means movement requirements for these 18 sites are the same as the Primary Control Zone (PCZ); and;
  • One PCZ has been revoked entirely.

Updates on HPAI zones can be found on the CFIA website: Highly pathogenic avian influenza zones - Canadian Food Inspection Agency (canada.ca). More information on CFIA permits and conditions needed for movement control can be found HERE.

Canada-wide Update
The HPAI H5N1 virus has infected 95 poultry flocks across nine Canadian provinces during the five months since it was first identified. This has resulted in the death or culling of 1,913,700 (1.9 million) birds according to most recent data; only 57 percent of these were commercial flocks.

Over 362 cases of HPAI have been confirmed in wild birds across all provinces as of May 5, 2022, according to current CFIA/NEOC GIS data.   

Based on CFIA data provided to the World Organization of Animal Health (OIE) from 93 infected flocks as of May 27, FBCC has compiled the following information:

  • Commercial ducks make up 16 percent of infected flocks and 23 percent of total birds;
  • Turkeys make up 12 percent of flocks and 11 percent of birds;
  • Broiler chickens make up 10percent of flocks and 32 percent of birds;
  • Broiler breeders make up eight percent of the infected flocks and 19 percent of the total birds lost;
  • Layers (commercial and research) make up four percent of flocks and seven percent of birds;
  • Mixed commercial makes up seven percent of flocks and seven percent of birds; and;
  • Other production types (game and exhibition birds) make up the remainder.

United States
About 38 million birds have died or been depopulated across 35 US states since the first case was realized on February 7, 2022. As of May 31, 2022, a total of 356 flocks have been affected, with 183 of them commercial flocks. (USDA web site).

Approximately 80 percent of the US flocks infected during May 2022 were backyard flocks. APHIS has mobilized 1,125 employees to assist state officials’ response to the US outbreak. The US government has provided new funding of $793 million.

This US National Wildlife Health Centre map shows the continental distribution of HPAI H5N1 cases in commercial poultry, small flocks, wild birds, and mammals across North America.

International Avian Influenza Situation
Since the onset of the avian flu season in October of 2021, over 60 countries in Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas have experienced H5N1 HPAI outbreaks.

A total of 3,741 infected flocks have been affected since autumn of 2021. Close to 107.47 million birds have died or were depopulated globally to eradicate the virus to date.

Monthly data by country has been compiled by the FBCC and is posted on its website - HERE

There is generally a decreasing trend in the number of HPAI infected poultry premises over the last two months in Europe, except for Hungary where 141 new infected commercial foie-gras ducks or geese farms across three counties in the south and northeast of the country were reported.

For this year to date, 1,746 infected wild birds have been reported in Europe; half of them in Germany.


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