Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) has been confirmed at a commercial turkey flock of nearly 12,000 birds in western Nova Scotia, Canada.

On January 30th, 2022, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) was notified of high mortality at the farm, and the CFIA National Centre for Foreign Animal Disease has confirmed that the virus was H5N1, similar to the viruses reported in non-poultry and wild birds recently in the provinces of Newfoundland and Nova Scotia. 

According to a report from the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), 6,146 birds died after contracting the virus. There was a total of 11,800 turkeys on the farm.

The farm has been quarantined, and a protection zone has been established. Surveillance is being conducted both inside and outside of that protection zone. OIE further stated that the remaining birds on the premises will be stamped out, animal products will be destroyed and the property will be disinfected. Wildlife surveillance as well as the Canadian Avian Influenza Surveillance System (CanNAISS) activities for poultry are ongoing in Canada.

According to the OIE, a phylogenic analysis indicated this virus found at this farm corresponds to the Eurasian lineage circulating in 2021 in Europe. 

Advertisement

HPAI was first confirmed in Canada this season in late December 2021 at an exhibition farm in the Avalon Peninsula of Newfoundland and Labrador. It has since been discovered at several locations in the province, and more recently was found in a wild goose in Nova Scotia.

Meanwhile, in the United States, there have been no confirmed cases of HPAI in commercial poultry, but it has been detected in hunter-harvested birds in North Carolina, South Carolina,  Virginia, and most recently, Florida.

The last time a commercial flock in the United States tested positive for avian influenza was when a commercial turkey flock in Kandiyohi County, Minnesota, tested positive in November 2021. However, that was a low pathogenic strain.

View our continuing coverage of the global avian influenza situation.