Within a month, the number of farms in British Columbia infected with the highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza rose to 38, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) confirms.
The affected locations are mainly centrally located in the Fraser Valley. Accordingly’CFIAAn estimated 4,853,000 birds were affected in British Columbia.
This increase suggests the virus is present throughout the environment and is being spread by migratory birds, said Amanda Brittain, information manager at the British Columbia Poultry Association’s emergency response centre.
This is not really a surprise as the virus follows migratory patterns and wild bird migration is currently at its peak. explains Ms. Brittain.
Despite all this, the official maintains that federal biosecurity procedures have been strengthened (New window) work because they limit the spread of the virus from farm to farm.
Migration of the epidemic
Amanda Brittain imagines the epidemic will end once the migration period is over. According to her, it is a cycle that repeats itself every year.
We have to be realistic, it is entirely possible that there will be more cases, but once the birds have passed through our environment the virus will be less present She explains.
Brittain also says there has been no human transmission in British Columbia and that this can occur in extremely isolated cases. In her opinion, citizens do not have to be afraid if, for example, they are traveling in an infected area.
Earlier this month, provincial authorities also recommended that farmers and other workers who come into contact with poultry get vaccinated against the flu.
The biggest human impact remains financial, emphasizes Amanda Brittain.
It can take months to clean and disinfect chicken coops before work resumes.
It is also a very difficult time for the mental health of breeders, as attempts are being made to euthanize a group of animals, explains Ms Brittain.
This is devastating for farmers.
On the other hand, citizens who want to buy poultry during the holiday season can breathe a sigh of relief. Ms. Brittain assures that the province’s growers will be able to meet the needs of the province.
With information from Wildinette Paul
Award-winning entrepreneur. Baconaholic. Food advocate. Wannabe beer maven. Twitter ninja.