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Free avian flu workshops available to B.C. poultry owners

Free avian flu workshops available to B.C. poultry owners

The first workshop takes place Sept. 27

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

British Columbia’s ministry of agriculture and food is hosting a series of free avian flu workshops for poultry owners.

The first workshop, scheduled for Sept. 27 from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Thompson Rivers University’s Williams Lake Campus, will feature veterinary specialists from the B.C. government and discussions on multiple topics.

Interested attendees must register for the event online.

Participants will learn about:

  • improving flock or farm biosecurity to reinforce against disease outbreaks;
  • recognizing the signs of avian influenza and how to report cases;
  • how foreign animal disease regulations affect small flock poultry;
  • what to expect if a flock is positive for avian influenza; and
  • resources available for non-commercial bird owners, including diagnostic services through the BC Animal Health Centre.

Attendees will also receive a biosecurity kit with tools and information to help with biosecurity practices.

The workshop comes after multiple provinces, including B.C., have experienced a rise in avian flu detections after quiet summer months.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency confirmed cases of the disease in a commercial poultry flock in the City of Chilliwack on Sept. 12 and in a small non-poultry flock on Sept. 15 in the Regional District of Cariboo.

B.C. previously had confirmed cases of avian flu on June 18 in Langley Township.

The Sept. 27 workshop in Williams Lake is one of multiple sessions the ministry is planning over the next few months.

Other workshops will be held on the following dates:

  • Kelowna, Sept. 29
  • Duncan, Oct. 12
  • Merville, Oct. 13
  • Salt Spring Island, Oct. 14
  • Vanderhoof, Oct. 26
  • Prince George, Oct. 27
  • Chilliwack, Nov. 1
  • Langley, Nov. 2
  • Maple Ridge, Nov. 3
  • Delta, Nov. 4

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