Avian influenza found on another Canadian farm

Highly pathogenic avian influenza has been confirmed at a second farm in the Avalon Peninsula of Newfoundland and Labrador.

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Domestic duck, duck with chicken, walking close-up
Domestic duck, duck with chicken, walking close-up
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Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) has been confirmed at a second farm in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada’s chief veterinary officer told the media.

Following the confirmation of HPAI at an exhibition farm in the province that was reported to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) on December 22, 2021 – the only confirmed case of HPAI in Canada in 2021 – the presence of the virus has since been confirmed at another farm.

Dr. Mary-Jane Ireland, chief veterinary officer for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), told CBC that the latest farm to have confirmed cases had backyard flocks of chickens and ducks. Seventeen birds died. Of those, three were chickens, while the other 14 were ducks. The remaining birds were euthanized, and control measures have been put in place.

There were similarities between the two farms. Both farms were on the Avalon Peninsula, the birds at both farms were infected with the H5N1 strain of the virus, and both properties had ponds, in which the birds raised there could comingle with wild birds.

Prior to the discovery of avian influenza at the second farm, officials in the nearby city of St. John’s cautioned residents that wild birds in the area had tested positive for HPIA, and that they should avoid contact with birds at public parks.

Since the first detection of HPAI in Canada, animal health officials across the border in the United States, including in the state of Maine, have been on high alert for the spread of the virus.

The last case of avian influenza to be confirmed by animal health officials in the United States happened in November, in Kandiyohi County, Minnesota. In that case, a flock of commercial turkeys was affected by a low pathogenic H5 strain of the virus. That outbreak was confirmed by the Minnesota Board of Animal Health.

View our continuing coverage of the global avian influenza situation.

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