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Sask. bans birds at events over avian flu concerns

Sask. bans birds at events over avian flu concerns

The province had its most recent confirmation on Oct. 5

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

A Saskatchewan Animal Health Order temporarily bans birds from appearing at shows, auctions, agricultural fairs and other events.

The order went into effect Sept. 21 and will be in place until at least Oct. 21 because of avian flu concerns.

“The goal of this Animal Health Order is to limit the spread of this virus to new flocks,” a Sept. 21 release says. “Producers are reminded to remain vigilant and contact the proper authorities should they have any concerns regarding the health of their flocks.”

Officials may extend the order after Oct. 21.

Since the Ministry of Agriculture’s Chief Veterinary Officer Dr. Stephanie Smith issued the order, Saskatchewan has had six confirmed cases of avian flu.

Between Sept. 24 and Oct. 5, three are in commercial flocks and three are in small flocks, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency says.

One of the cases of avian flu is affecting Pine View Farms.

A producer farm that supplies Pine View Farms with turkeys had to cull a flock.

“They detected avian influenza about 10 days ago. And because of that, all the live birds on the farm had to be depopulated, including the flock of turkeys that they were raising for us,” Melanie Boldt, co-owner of Pine View Farms, told Global News. “For us, with Thanksgiving, it is definitely one of our most profitable times of the year. We are now scrambling to salvage our Thanksgiving turkey market.”

Ontario has also banned large gatherings of birds.

The Ontario order went into effect Sept. 23 and ends Oct. 22.

Since that order came into effect, Ontario has seen one new confirmed case of avian flu.

That was in a commercial flock in Rockland, Ont.

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