The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has confirmed that a small backyard poultry flock in Kelowna has tested positive for the highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza virus.
B.C.’s Ministry of Agriculture and Food is working closely with the CFIA and B.C. poultry producers to ensure enhanced prevention and preparedness measures are in place to protect poultry flocks in B.C.
The infected premises has been placed under quarantine by the CFIA and the ministry has notified producers within a 12-kilometre radius of the positive test result.
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 things (including clothing and footwear) when entering areas where flocks are housed.
Additionally, a recent sample from a bald eagle found in Delta tested positive for the high pathogenicity avian influenza. This is the second bald eagle sample that has tested positive, with another positive case found in Vancouver in February. These samples were collected through B.C.’s wild bird surveillance program for avian influenza, which gathers samples from sick and dead birds as well as sediment samples from wetlands the birds gather on. The surveillance is a partnership between different federal and provincial agencies and the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative.
Avian influenza is a federally regulated disease and the CFIA leads the investigation and response with provincial support for testing, mapping, surveillance and disposal.
Ministry of Agriculture and Food information on avian Influenza, including what to be on the lookout for, resources for small flock owners, deputy chief veterinarian orders and information about testing: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/agriculture-seafood/animals-and-crops/animal-health/reportable-notifiable-diseases/avian-influenza-ai
CFIA information on current state of avian influenza in Canada: https://inspection.canada.ca/animal-health/terrestrial-animals/diseases/reportable/avian-influenza/response-to-detections-of-highly-pathogenic-avian-/eng/1640207916497/1640207916934
CFIA fact sheet on avian influenza: https://inspection.canada.ca/animal-health/terrestrial-animals/diseases/reportable/avian-influenza/fact-sheet/eng/1356193731667/1356193918453#a2
The following contact information can be found on the ministry website, but is provided here for quick access:
- The BC Ministry of Agriculture and Food provides diagnostic services for commercial and small flock poultry, please call: 1 800-661-9903 to report unexplained poultry illnesses or mortalities.
- Small and backyard flock owners with general inquiries should call the Small and Backyard Flock Permitting Hotline: 604 855-8255.
- The Wild Bird Mortality Investigation Program hotline at 1 866-431-2473 accepts public reports of dead wild birds.