The province will hold an information session for small flock poultry owners in Kelowna about the bird flu virus, how to protect flocks and how to prepare for the potential impact if birds get sick.
The session will be chaired by BC government veterinary specialists. Participants will learn the following:
- Improving herd or farm biosecurity to prevent disease outbreaks;
- recognizing the signs of avian influenza and reporting cases;
- how foreign animal health regulations affect small poultry;
- what to expect if a flock is positive for avian influenza; and
- resources available to non-commercial bird keepers, including diagnostic services through the BC Animal Health Centre.
The meeting will be held on Thursday, September 29, 2022 from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in Reid Hall. Participants will receive a free biosecurity kit with tools and information to maintain good biosecurity practices. Although the session is free to attend, seating is limited and registration is mandatory. Register online at: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/410090420487
The risk of avian influenza to commercial poultry farms and small flocks increases each spring and fall as waterfowl and other birds migrate through British Columbia. The Kelowna public information event is one of a series of events planned for communities across BC this fall.
- Avian influenza is a federally regulated disease and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is leading the investigation and response with provincial support for testing, mapping, surveillance and disposal.
- Wild birds have tested positive for H5 strains of avian flu in several regions of the province.
- The Wild Bird Mortality Investigation Program hotline takes public reports of wild bird deaths: 1-866-431-2473.
- As of mid-April 2022, the CFIA has confirmed 21 cases of avian influenza in commercial and small-scale poultry flocks in communities across BC
- This is an extension of an ongoing North American outbreak.
CFIA information on the current status of avian influenza in Canada: https://inspection.canada.ca/animal-health/terrestrial-animals/diseases/reportable/avian-influenza/response-to-detections-of-highly-pathogenic-avian -/eng/1640207916497/1640207916934
CFIA fact sheet on avian influenza: https://inspection.canada.ca/animal-health/terrestrial-animals/diseases/reportable/avian-influenza/fact-sheet/eng/1356193731667/1356193918453#a2
Information on avian flu, including what to look out for, resources for small flock owners, orders from the Deputy Chief Vet and information on testing: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/agriculture-seafood/animals-and -crops/animal health/notifiable-notifiable-diseases/bird-flu-ai