VICTORIA — Avian flu is spreading rapidly through British Columbia poultry farms, including half a dozen diagnosed in commercial flocks this week alone.
The fall migration of wild birds is considered the primary cause of infection for B.C.’s commercial and backyard operations.
B.C.’s chief veterinarian issued two orders last month to try to stop the disease from spreading, telling farmers to keep their birds indoors and stopping markets and auctions.
Since Oct. 20, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency shows there have been 16 confirmed cases of the highly virulent H5N1 virus.
The B.C. Agriculture Ministry says once a positive test is confirmed, the flock is quarantined, culled and then disposed of.
The ministry says farmers need to remain vigilant despite the preventative measures put in place, and any sick or dead bird should be reported through the province’s wild bird surveillance hotline.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 8, 2023.
The Canadian Press