Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) of the H5N1 subtype has been confirmed at an exhibition farm on the Avalon Peninsula of Newfoundland, Canada.

The presence of the virus was confirmed on December 19, and Canadian officials reported it to the World Organsiation for Animal Health (OIE) on December 22. Phylogenic analysis indicates this virus corresponds to the Eurasian lineage circulating in 2021, the OIE stated. 

Testing was done at the National Centre for Foreign Animal Disease (NCFAD), Winnipeg, Manitoba National Laboratory, and the Atlantic Veterinary College Diagnostic Services Local Laboratory.

The OIE report identified the affected birds as “non-poultry including wild birds.” On the premises, there were 419 susceptible birds. Of those, 360 died and the remaining 59 were euthanized. 

The affected property is being disinfected and the carcasses, byproducts and waste at the farm are properly being disposed of.

Advertisement

A protection zone (3km) and a surveillance zone (10 km) have been put in place around the infected premises. Additionally, wildlife surveillance as well as the Canadian Avian Influenza Surveillance System (CanNAISS) activities for poultry are ongoing in Canada. 

No poultry trade restrictions are expected to follow the detection of avian influenza at this location. According to article 10.4.1.4 of the Terrestrial Animal Health Code, member country should not impose bans on the international trade of poultry commodities in response to notification of infection with any Influenza A viruses in birds other than poultry.

This case marks the first confirmed case of avian influenza in Canada in 2021. However, there has also been one confirmed case in the United States. In November, low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) of the H5 variety was detected in a flock of commercial turkeys in Kandiyohi County, Minnesota, the Minnesota Board of Animal Health reported.

View our continuing coverage of the global avian influenza situation.