Avian influenza returns to Canadian poultry

Alberta avian flu case is Canada’s first in commercial poultry since May 6.

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Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) has returned to Canada, with the country’s first detection of HPAI in a commercial poultry flock since May.

According to a report from the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) the presence of HPAI was confirmed in a commercial poultry flock in Warner County, Alberta, on September 14. The strain of HPAI was of the H5N1 serotype.

The affected premises was a mixed poultry farm that involved turkeys, broilers and layers. The affected flock involved 1,960 susceptible birds – 390 of which had died.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) immediately quarantined the premises and began implementing strict movement controls, WOAH reported. The remaining 1,570 birds were euthanized.

Other control measures put in place include disinfection, zoning, surveillance inside and outside of the restricted zone, and disposal of carcasses, byproducts and waste.

Canada has not had any cases of HPAI in a commercial poultry flock since May 6, when the virus was confirmed in a commercial poultry flock in the Les Maskoutains Regional County Municipality in Quebec.

However, it had been much longer since HPAI affected a commercial poultry flock in Alberta. Prior to the outbreak in Warner County, the last time HPAI struck a commercial flock in the province was November 15, with that outbreak occurring in Forty Mile County.

Between the two most recent HPAI infections in commercial poultry flocks, two Alberta backyard flocks were affected, with the most recent of those two instances being confirmed on April 21, according to the CFIA.

So far in 2023, the following provinces have had confirmed HPAI cases in commercial poultry: Alberta, Quebec, British Columbia and Ontario. A total of seven provinces had commercial flocks affected by HPAI in 2022. Those include Alberta, Quebec, British Columbia, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia.

South of the border, the United States has not had any cases of HPAI in commercial poultry since April 19.

To learn more about HPAI cases in commercial poultry flocks in the United States and Canada, see an interactive map on WATTPoultry.com. 

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