Turkey rhinotracheitis confirmed on two Ontario farms

More than 250 turkeys are lost in the first reported cases of the disease in Canada.

Roy Graber Headshot
Turkey 6
Courtesy Big Dutchman

Cases of turkey rhinotracheitis have been reported for the first time in Canada, with two commercial turkey flocks in Ontario being affected.

The cases were announced by the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) on May 13.

According to a WOAH report, increased mortalities were noticed one turkey flock in Wellington, Ontario, and another in Bruce, Ontario. In the Wellington flock, 166 turkeys in a flock of 5,150 died. In the Bruce flock, 87 of 15,000 turkeys died.

The farm operators notified the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) about the unusual mortalities in the flocks, and the birds were tested for a variety of common avian diseases, including highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI). The CFIA National Centre for Foreign Animal Disease later confirmed that the virus was avian metapneumovirus. Testing was done at the agency’s laboratory in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

According to a study by Silke Rautenschlein, DVM, PhD, DECPVS, University of Veterinary Medicine, Hannover, Germany, avian metapneumovirus can induce turkey rhinotracheitis, which is an acute respiratory tract infection of turkeys.

According to the WOAH report, no control measures concerning these turkey rhinotracheitis cases were put in place.

Canada is presently the only country with an active report of turkey rhinotracheitis listed on the WOAH website.

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