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Preventing the spread of avian influenza in Ontario farms

Preventing the spread of avian influenza in Ontario farms

Ontario poultry industry reminds farmers to practice strict biosecurity to protect our birds.

By Andrew Joseph,; Image by Stefan from Pixabay

Per the Feather Board Command Centre (FBCC), on September 17, 2022, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has confirmed a positive case of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) on an Ontario poultry farm in the Township of Zorra in Oxford County. See HERE for more.

Thanks to efforts of farmers everywhere in keeping the disease at bay, this is the first positive case of HPAI that Ontario has experienced since May 18, 2022.
Click HERE to access the 10km buffered biosecurity advisory map.

That said, the FBCC reminds all poultry farmers, small flock growers and poultry industry personnel throughout the province that implementing strict biosecurity is of the upmost importance.

Biosecurity protocols that can be implemented on-farm:

  • Keep poultry away from areas frequented by wild birds;
  • Maintain strict control over access to poultry houses and your premises;
  • Make sure equipment is cleaned and disinfected before taking it into poultry houses;
  • Do not keep bird feeders or create duck ponds close to poultry barns;
  • Maintain the highest sanitation standards;
  • Change footwear when entering the Restricted Area and prevent wearing contaminated clothing and equipment in production areas;
  • Control access to your farm site by communicating the situation to all essential visitors, including service providers, input suppliers and feed providers;
  • Keep mortalities in secure, covered containers until they are moved to the disposal area or transported off-farm;
  • Place waste entering the public collection system in a sealed, waterproof bag with the exterior disinfected;
  • Place a hose and spray nozzle at entry point to Controlled Access Zone (CAZ); wash and disinfect vehicles at entry and at exit, paying special attention to wheels and wheel wells;
  • If possible, keep all waste on-farm until the situation is resolved;
  • IMPORTANT: Limit access to your farm to ESSENTIAL visitors only.

Important Biosecurity for Industry Service Personnel:

  • Travel onto farms should be limited to essential services only;
  • Roads that are contaminated with organic material should be avoided;
  • Washing vehicles between farms is ideal. At a minimum, all deliveries or loading in or near a Biosecurity Advisory Area should be last on the route;
  • Drive slowly when near barns to minimize dust;
  • Avoid parking by exhaust fans and air inlets unless required;
  • Avoid parking downwind from the barns, if possible;
  • Trucks should have steps, wheel wells and tires cleaned and disinfected before leaving the premises or before proceeding with, any other delivery/loading;
  • If not using disposable biosecurity apparel provided by the farmer, wear clean clothes and clean and disinfected boots at each farm;
  • Use disinfectants such as Virkon, Accel, VIROCID, Bisentry, Biosolve Plus, Biofoam, etc., abiding by contact time and concentrations as per the label;
  • Be sure to clean any equipment used on-farm that could become contaminated;
  • Sign the visitor logbook;
  • Keep your own records identifying where you have been and when.

Should your farm’s birds show any signs of illness, farmers should call their veterinarian immediately, and are asked to also contact the CFIA’s local District Office during business hours, or by calling 1-877-814-2342 after hours. It is also recommended that you contact the 24-hour FBCC support line, 1-877-SOS-BYRD.

Please visit regularly.

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