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Avian flu ontario
Canadian officials have confirmed the presence of avian influenza at a duck farm near St. Catharines, Ontario. | Thatsaphon Saengnarongrat, Bigstock
on July 8, 2016

H5 avian influenza confirmed in Ontario

Low pathogenic avian influenza has been detected on a duck farm near St. Catharines

Low pathogenic avian influenza has been confirmed at a duck farm near St. Catharines, Ontario.

Preliminary testing by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) confirmed the presence of the virus, which is of the H5 serotype. Further testing is being done to confirm the precise avian influenza subtype and strain.

The farm, according to a news release from CFIA, has been placed under quarantine to control the spread of the virus. A surveillance zone surrounding the farm will be established for further testing and movement control measures.

While the number of ducks on the farm has not been released, CFIA states that all ducks on the affected premises will be euthanized and disposed of in accordance with provincial regulations and internationally accepted disease control guidelines. The Province of Ontario will provide technical support on required carcass disposal.

The farm owner, governmental agencies and the Canadian poultry industry are working closely together to manage the situation.

Earlier avian influenza cases in Canada

This marks the first case of avian influenza in Ontario – and in Canada – since April 2015. All three of Ontario’s avian influenza cases last year were confirmed in Oxford County. Two commercial turkey farms and one broiler breeder farm were infected, with a collective 79,800 birds affected.

St. Catharines is in Niagara County, which is less than 90 miles east of where the 2015 avian influenza cases occurred.

The only other recent cases of avian influenza in Canada occurred in late 2014 and early 2015 in British Columbia. In the province’s seven cases, 187,085 birds were affected. The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) reported that the avian flu situation in British Columbia was resolved in June 2015.

Veterinary officials believed the Ontario and British Columbia outbreaks were unrelated.

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