Highly pathogenic avian influenza confirmed in Ontario

Highly pathogenic avian influenza has been confirmed at two farms and in a wild bird in Ontario, making it the sixth Canadian province where the virus has been confirmed.

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Ontario province flag, Canada waving banner collection. 3D illustration
Ontario province flag, Canada waving banner collection. 3D illustration
(daboost | Bigstock)

The presence of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) has been confirmed at two poultry farms in southern Ontario, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) announced.

CFIA reported the confirmation of one case on March 27 and the other case on the following day. In both cases, the virus was of the H5N1 serotype. Little additional information about these cases was given by CFIA, other than the townships where they occurred. One was confirmed in Zorra Township, while the other was in Guelph/Eramosa Township. However, these confirmations were made following a report from the Ontario Feather Board Command Centre, which stated that there were two “suspect positive cases” of HPAI in Ontario poultry.

One of those suspect cases was in the Thamesford region, while the other suspect case was in the Wellington/Waterloo region.

Canadian animal health authorities on March 22 confirmed Ontario’s first case of HPAI, in a red-tailed hawk, west of Waterloo.

With these cases, HPAI has been confirmed in six Canadian provinces. The other affected provinces are Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and British Columbia. However.

Nova Scotia was the only of those previously affected provinces to have a case in a commercial poultry flock. In late January, the presence of HPAI was confirmed in a flock of 11,800 turkeys.

While the CFIA earlier announced trade restrictions that had been placed on Canadian poultry as a result of the HPAI cases, OIE standards state that HPAI cases in wild birds or backyard flocks should not result in any trade barriers.

HPAI has been confirmed in all four North American flyways in 2022. In the United States, the virus has been found in commercial poultry flocks in 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.

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