The Ministry of Agriculture and Food is holding an information session on Thursday, Nov. 3, 2022, in Maple Ridge for small-flock poultry owners.
The session will focus on the avian influenza virus, how owners can protect their flocks and how to prepare for potential impacts if their birds become sick.
The session is being led by B.C. government veterinary specialists. Attendees 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 receive a free biosecurity kit containing tools and information to help maintain good biosecurity practices.
Although there is no cost to attend the session, seating is limited and registration is mandatory. Register online: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/453296250287
The Maple Ridge session will be held from 8:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. at the Albion Community Centre.
The risk of avian influenza to commercial poultry farms and small flocks increases each spring and fall with the migration of waterfowl and other birds to and through British Columbia.
- Avian influenza is a federally regulated disease and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) leads the investigation and response with provincial support for testing, mapping, surveillance and disposal.
- Wild birds have also tested positive for H5 strains of avian influenza in multiple regions of B.C.
- On Oct. 14, 2022, the chief veterinarian issued a general order requiring all people responsible for birds to not take birds to events such as poultry swaps, auctions, flea markets, bird shows, fairs, public displays or competitions where birds from multiple sources would be present.
- The Wild Bird Mortality Investigation Program hotline, 1 866 431-2473, accepts public reports of dead wild birds.
- Since mid-April 2022, the CFIA has confirmed 28 cases of avian influenza in commercial and small poultry flocks in communities throughout B.C.
- This is an extension of an ongoing North American outbreak.
CFIA information about 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 factsheet about avian influenza: https://inspection.canada.ca/animal-health/terrestrial-animals/diseases/reportable/avian-influenza/fact-sheet/eng/1356193731667/1356193918453#a2
Ministry of Agriculture and Food information about avian Influenza, including what to be on the lookout for, resources for small-flock owners, deputy chief veterinarian's orders and information on testing: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/agriculture-seafood/animals-and-crops/animal-health/reportable-notifiable-diseases/avian-influenza-ai