A L E R T ! HPAI Update

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HPAI Update

Post by Killerbunny » Thu Sep 22, 2022 7:38 pm

Animal Health and Welfare Branch/
Office of the Chief Veterinarian
Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
Agricultural Information Contact Centre
E-mail : ag.info.omafra@ontario.ca
September 22, 2022
Avian Influenza Update for Agricultural Societies and
Comingling Events Hosting Birds
On September 17, 2022, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) confirmed the presence
of H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in a commercial flock located in the
Township of Zorra, Ontario. Since then, four additional outbreaks have been reported – three
in small flocks in Grey County, Haldimand County and Niagara Region and another in Zorra
Township with a mixture of domestic and wild birds.
Avian influenza (AI) is not a threat to food safety. Ontario poultry and eggs are safe to eat
when, as always, proper cooking along with safe and sanitary handling takes places. The risk
of transmission to humans is very low. People working with poultry should take additional
precautions and are strongly encouraged to follow all public health guidelines and maintain
strict biosecurity. If you are concerned about your health or if you develop influenza-like
symptoms after working with sick birds, please contact your health care provider.
Recommendation Against Comingling
Comingling events such as fairs, shows and other gatherings of birds can have a
severe impact on the risk of AI spread across the province.
People who raise small flocks or game birds for personal or limited commercial purposes
should be aware of the risks of diseases such as AI to their birds. During an AI outbreak,
attending poultry events can significantly increase the risk of spreading diseases.
AI virus can be transmitted from one infected flock to another by movement of infected birds
and/or breaches in biosecurity, such as transferring the virus from a contaminated
environment to a clean environment via equipment and/or clothing and footwear.
During autumn and spring wild bird migrations, there is an increased risk of AI
infection to poultry flocks. Measures taken at this time to improve biosecurity,
including avoiding contact with other birds, may reduce the likelihood of exposure
to your flock.
Agricultural Information Contact Centre
E-mail : ag.info.omafra@ontario.ca
It is strongly recommended during high-risk periods for transmission of AI and
especially during a disease outbreak – such as the current period – that
owners/operators not commingle birds from different locations and avoid activities
such as shows, sales, competitions and swap meets. People who have recently been in
contact with other birds should not enter the housing area or handle birds.
It is also recommended that owners/operators limit adding new birds to their flocks at this
time. If it is necessary, they should obtain the vendor’s contact and complete background
information, including a history of any diseases and vaccinations, in case the birds become
sick, to allow for traceability to their flock of origin.
Early detection is critical. Should you suspect any signs of health concerns in your flock,
contact your veterinarian immediately. Bird owners are legally responsible to notify their
veterinarian or the nearest CFIA Animal Health district if there is suspicion of AI in their flock.
A list of poultry veterinarians can be searched on the College of Veterinarians of Ontario’s
National Cases
Since September 4, 2022, Canada has reported 22 commercial poultry flocks testing positive
for HPAI in Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario. Since the
beginning of 2022, nine provinces have reported cases of HPAI in domestic poultry.
The Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative (CWHC) continues to detect positive HPAI virus in
wild birds across the country. As of September 22, 2022, CWHC has reported 1,253 HPAI-
positive detections in wild birds in Canada since the beginning of the year.
Avian Influenza Overview
AI is a highly contagious viral disease that can infect domestic and wild birds, including
chickens, turkeys, pheasants, quail, ducks, geese, pigeons, psittacines and guinea fowl. This
disease is carried in free-flying waterfowl such as ducks, geese and shorebirds. Infected birds
may shed the virus in their feces, thus contaminating the environment. The virus can survive
for days in litter, feed, water, soil, dead birds, feathers and on the surface of eggs.
Persistence of the HPAI virus – mainly the H5N1 serotype – indicates that the infection may
have widely spread in wild birds and the health risk from this HPAI virus family may now be a
year-round threat to domestic poultry and wildlife.

Additional information is available at:
Avian Influenza (gov.on.ca)
National Avian Influenza - Wild Positives (arcgis.com)
USDA APHIS | 2022 Confirmations of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in Commercial and
Backyard Flocks
Live bird migration map
Fact Sheet - Avian Influenza - Canadian Food Inspection Agency (canada.ca)
CWHC-RCSF: Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative - Réseau canadien pour la santé de la
Current distribution of HPAI cases across North America
Beltsville Small White turkeys.
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