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Avian flu detected in Regional District of Central Kootenay

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says it has confirmed that a small poultry flock in the Regional District of Central Kootenay has tested positive for the highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza virus.

The infected premises has been placed under quarantine by the CFIA and the Ministry of Agriculture has notified producers within a 12-kilometre radius of the positive test results.

However, they are not making public exactly where the flock is. The RDCK includes Nelson, Castlegar, Kaslo, the Arrow Lakes, and the Salmo, Creston, and Slocan valleys.

B.C.’s Ministry of Agriculture and Food says it continues to work closely with the CFIA and B.C. poultry producers to ensure enhanced prevention and preparedness measures are in place to protect poultry flocks in B.C.

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Owners of small or backyard flocks are urged to continue to be vigilant and have appropriate preventative measures in place. Measures include eliminating or reducing opportunities for poultry to encounter wild birds, reducing human access to the flock, and increased cleaning, disinfection and sanitization of all things (including clothing and footwear) when entering areas where flocks are housed.

Additionally, seven wild birds that died between April 20 and 27 have also tested positive for H5 strains of avian influenza. The seven include three snow geese and one Canada goose in the Vanderhoof area, and individual bald eagles from Lac la Hache (near 100 Mile House), Bowen Island and Vancouver. These cases follow a similar finding in a bald eagle in Delta this month, and one in Vancouver in February.

These findings were reported through B.C.’s wild bird mortality surveillance program which gathers samples from sick and dead birds, as well as sediment samples from wetlands on which the birds gather.

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