The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) revealed in a technical briefing Monday that at least one poultry flock in Quebec may already have been infected with highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), the H5N1 subtype.
Posted at 1:26 PM
Updated at 1:40 PM.
“In the past two weeks, additional discoveries have occurred in Ontario and Alberta, and a possible case in Quebec,” said the document provided by CFIA.
Agency officials said they could not comment further while the situation was investigated.
In Canada, a first farm was affected last December in Newfoundland and Labrador, followed by another farm in Nova Scotia, Ontario and Alberta.
“The virus has spread rapidly since the first reports of it being detected in wild birds,” the association said.
Quebec confirmed its first three H5N1 cases in the province’s wild birds on April 4.
A case has been confirmed in Granby, on the Canada goose. The other two are found in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu and Saint-Isidore-de-Laprairie, in Montérégie, on snow geese.
The association said that there is no cure for infected birds and the mortality rate on farms is high.
When cases are discovered on farms, the CFIA said, CFIA could quarantine and control movement and begin the “humane” culling of infected birds to prevent the spread of the disease.
On Monday afternoon, the CFIA page listing confirmed cases of bird flu showed no cases in Quebec.
“This is an unprecedented year for avian influenza globally,” the CFIA recalls, referring to the “significant and sustained spread in Europe, Asia, Africa and North America.” In the United States, commercial farms and small home flocks are seriously affected.
In Ontario, the Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs put out a challenge to urban chicken owners and small poultry flocks on Twitter Monday morning to encourage them to “enforce biosecurity measures.”
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