The number of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) cases in Ontario, Canada, has reached four.

March 31, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic avian influenza, subtype H5N1, in a poultry flock in the Township of Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation, Ontario.

The CFIA did not disclose further information concerning the species of poultry involved, how many birds were in the flock, or whether it was a backyard or commercial flock. 

To control any potential spread of the disease, the CFIA has placed the premises under quarantine and is establishing movement control measures and recommending enhanced biosecurity for other farms within that area.

The previous three poultry flocks affected by HPAI in Ontario included a commercial turkey flock in the Township of Guelph/Eramosa, a commercial turkey flock in the Township of Zorra, and an unspecified poultry flock in the Township of Woolwich.

One of the commercial flocks involved 8,800 turkeys, while the other involved 5,650 turkeys.

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Following the first detection of avian influenza in the province, Ontario’s Feather Board Command Center issued a heightened biosecurity advisory to all poultry farmers, small flock growers and poultry industry personnel throughout the province, effective immediately.

The only other case of HPAI to be reported in commercial poultry in Canada occurred in Nova Scotia, where a flock of 11,800 turkeys was affected.

The presence of HPAI has also been confirmed in the provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and British Columbia. However, those cases were all in wild birds, backyard poultry or exhibition birds and should not result in any trade restrictions in accordance with OIE standards.

Elsewhere in North America, HPAI has also been detected in commercial poultry in the U.S. states of North Carolina, Minnesota, South Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska, Maryland, Delaware, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri and Wisconsin.

To learn more about HPAI cases in North American commercial poultry flocks, see an interactive map on WATTPoultry.com.

Read our ongoing coverage of the global avian influenza outbreak.