Farm In Ontario Has H5 Avian Influenza; CFIA To Cull 27,000 Chickens

By @ibtimesau on
Health Officials in Protective Suits Put a Goose Into a Sack as Part of Preventive Measures Against the H7N9 Bird Flu at a Poultry Market in Zhuji, Zhejiang Province
In Photo: Health officials in protective suits put a goose into a sack as part of preventive measures against the H7N9 bird flu at a poultry market in Zhuji, Zhejiang province January 5, 2014. The local government ordered all live poultry be killed at two markets in Zhuji after a 34-year-old woman was confirmed to be infected with the H7N9 virus on Saturday, local media reported. Picture taken January 5, 2014. REUTERS

Some 27,000 chickens from a farm in southern Ontario will be culled by the Canadian Food Inspection agency following preliminary testing that confirmed the animals in the farm have the presence of the H5 avian influenza.

The inspection agency said the culling was needed to control the spread of the disease within and beyond the broiler breeder chicken farm in Oxford County. This was the second case in April that the CFIA discovered the H5 avian influenza is present among farms in Canada.

The CFIA said birds on the farm suddenly died over a span of several days. Tests done at the University of Guelph on Friday confirmed the birds have been infected with the H5 avian influenza. It is not known how many birds have died from the virus.

CFIA said all birds on the infected premises will be humanely destroyed and disposed in accordance with provincial environmental regulations and internationally accepted disease control guidelines. It will also determine a surrounding surveillance zone for further testing and movement control measures concerning the quarantine of the infected farm. Once all birds have been removed, the cleaning and disinfection of the barns will follow, including vehicles, equipment and tools to ensure any material was thoroughly removed.

Avian influenza refers to the disease caused by infection with avian (bird) influenza (flu) Type A viruses. These viruses occur naturally among wild aquatic birds worldwide and can infect domestic poultry and other bird and animal species. Avian flu viruses do not normally infect humans. But the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention said there have occurred cases of sporadic human infections with avian flu viruses. 

CFIA said it is conducting further testing to assess the severity of the infection has caused in the birds, as well as determine the precise subtype and strain of the virus.

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