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Small flocks in Richmond, Kelowna test positive for avian influenza

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has confirmed that small poultry flocks in Kelowna and Richmond have tested positive for the highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza virus.

These are the third and fourth small flocks in B.C. that have contracted the virus, presumably through contact with infected migrating wild birds. Owners of small or backyard flocks are urged to continue to be vigilant and have appropriate preventative measures in place.

Measures include eliminating or reducing opportunities for poultry to encounter wild birds, reducing human access to the flock, and increased cleaning, disinfection and sanitization of all items (including clothing and footwear) when entering areas where flocks are housed.

The infected premises have been placed under quarantine by the CFIA. B.C.’s Ministry of Agriculture and Food has notified producers within a 12-kilometre radius about the flocks with positive test results.

B.C.’s ministry continues to work closely with the CFIA and B.C. poultry producers to ensure enhanced prevention and preparedness measures are in place to protect poultry flocks. The first confirmation of H5N1 in B.C. poultry was at a commercial producer in the Regional District of North Okanagan in mid-April.

Avian influenza is a federally regulated disease, and the CFIA leads the investigation and response with provincial support for testing, mapping, surveillance and disposal.

Wild birds have tested positive for H5 strains of Avian influenza in the Vanderhoof area, Lac la Hache (near 100 Mile House), Bowen Island, Delta and Vancouver.

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