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PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2014 5:39 am 
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UPDATE: Avian flu means turmoil for Chilliwack poultry farmers – Virus found on more farms
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CFIA workers at Fraser Valley Duck and Goose in Yarrow in November 2005 when 70,000 birds had to be culled.— Image Credit: Times/File

by Paul J. Henderson - Chilliwack Times
posted Dec 10, 2014 at 12:00 PM— updated Dec 10, 2014 at 1:22 PM
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While so far just one Chilliwack poultry producer is directly affected by the recent H5N2 avian influenza outbreak, the impact is felt by all.

“A finding of notifiable avian influenza (H5 or H7 strains) is very difficult for an infected farm owner, and for poultry producers in general,” said Ken Falk, owner of Fraser Valley Specialty Poultry in Yarrow.

“It essentially throws an otherwise orderly and structured industry into turmoil/chaos.”

And Falk should know as his operation was hit hard in both 2004 when the entire Fraser Valley was decimated with avian flu, but again in 2005 when his operation, then known as Fraser Valley Duck and Goose, was hit again.

He’s still frustrated about 2005 when a low pathogenic strain hit his ducks, which are a host adapted species, meaning they did not become symptomatic. As a result of Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) rules implemented after 2004, Falk had to cull 70,000 otherwise healthy birds.

Falk said the CFIA made mistakes in 2004 when it came to containment and they made mistakes later when it came to compensation. He’s been told the programs work now, and he hopes he doesn’t have to test them.

Most recently the CFIA said the entire southern half of British Columbia is now part of an avian influenza “primary control zone,” as a result of an outbreak of the disease on farms in Chilliwack and Abbotsford.

The H5N2 strain was found first at one farm in Chilliwack and one farm in Abbotsford. A few days later two more farms were added to the quarantine list.

On Wednesday, the CFIA reported avian flu was found on two more chicken farms in Abbotsford, and in another barn on an original site. That second barn is a separate business so is treated by the CFIA as a standalone case. The brings the total number of affected farms to eight.

All farms are within eight kilometres of each other.
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“Any kind of movement out of the primary control zone will be monitored,” CFIA chief veterinary officer Dr. Harpreet Kochhar said at a technical briefing Monday.

More than 155,000 chickens and turkeys on farms in Chilliwack and Abbotsford have either died from the highly pathogenic H5N2 strain, or have been euthanized.

Kochhar said the creation of a primary control zone is supported by poultry farmers, but will impact the industry. The reason for the zone, he said, is to protect animal health, control disease spread and to minimize trade disruptions outside of the zone.

The move comes as more countries announce a ban on poultry and poultry products from the area. The United States chief veterinarian announced a ban on live and raw poultry from B.C. Bans of varying degrees—as specific as the Fraser Valley and as broad as all of Canada—are now in place from Mexico, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and South Africa.

The CFIA continues to investigate the source of the disease, but suspicion is squarely on migratory birds.

Some poultry farmers have not been keen to chat about the current outbreak, deferring instead to the BC Poultry Association.

The Times contacted the

Chilliwack farmer whose 13,000 birds had to be euthanized last week, but Chris den Hertog said he preferred not to comment at this time.

Walter Dyck, president of the Chilliwack Agriculture Commission and a poultry farmer for decades, too, deferred comments to the association.

Falk at Fraser Valley Specialty Poultry was forthcoming with his feeling that the government and CFIA did not respond well in 2004. He does try to remain optimistic, however, about the lessons learned.

“Just over one week into the control/eradication efforts and we are faced with a lot more questions than answers,” Falk told the Times. “It will be very difficult for all producers in the coming weeks, but we are committed to work together to bring this to a successful conclusion.”

Certified organic turkey producers Jeff and Carrie Hooge in Greendale are watching their outdoor grazing animals closely.

“We are taking every precautionary measure that we can to prevent the avian influenza from coming into contact on our farm, while still proving an environment in which we can raise our turkeys ethically and while abiding 100 per cent by the Canadian Organic standards,” Carrie said in an email. “We know that lots of Chilliwack residents are passionate about eating local, and we are happy to be able to provide an organic, local and ethical option for their Christmas feast.”

http://www.chilliwacktimes.com/news/285402861.html

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2014 8:58 am 
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Update on avian influenza situation in British Columbia
December 10, 2014

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is continuing its investigation into an outbreak of avian influenza in British Columbia's Fraser Valley. As part of this investigation, two additional farms have been identified as having avian influenza.

The province of British Columbia has confirmed the presence of avian influenza on these farms. This identification of additional farms is not unexpected as avian influenza is highly contagious between birds and can spread rapidly.

Both of these farms are close to one of the initial farms identified as part this outbreak.

The fact that these farms were identified quickly underscores industry's commitment to supporting the response effort by immediately reporting any signs of illness.

In addition, another barn located on one of the previously-identified infected sites has been confirmed to have avian influenza. As this barn is legally considered a separate business entity, we are treating it as a new infected premises, bringing the total to eight.

The province of British Columbia has also notified the CFIA of another farm where avian influenza is suspected. If confirmed, this would be the ninth infected premises. Testing is underway, and results are expected within the next day.

As part of regular investigation activities, the Agency is fully tracing movements in and out of these sites. This may lead to further premises being identified and depopulated, which would not be unexpected.

Birds have been humanely euthanized on four farms, and depopulation activities have begun on the fifth farm. The remaining farms will be depopulated in the coming days.

The CFIA continues to urge poultry farmers to take an active role in protecting their flocks by employing strict biosecurity measures on their property, and to immediately report any suspicious symptoms to the CFIA.

Avian influenza viruses do not pose risks to food safety when poultry and poultry products are properly handled and cooked.

The CFIA has mobilized all available resources to manage this situation. The Agency continues to work closely with the Province of British Columbia, the owners of the infected birds, and the poultry industry to manage this outbreak.

For more information on avian influenza and measures poultry farmers can take to protect their flocks, please visit the CFIA web site at inspection.gc.ca.

http://www.inspection.gc.ca/animals/ter ... 8247937362

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2014 9:25 am 
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Commentary

http://www.recombinomics.com/News/12111 ... ncern.html

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2014 9:55 am 
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Provincial posted December 10, 2014 by Cassandra Jeffery
Two More Farms Confirmed to Have Bird Flu
Concern is on the rise as additional poultry farms in B.C. have been identified as having avian influenza, says the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. The CFIA is continuing their investigation into an outbreak of avian influenza in British Columbia's Fraser Valley. Their examination thus far has found two other farms to have the virus.

The CFIA said that it's not unexpected for the virus to migrate so easily to other farms as avian influenza is highly contagious between birds and can spread rapidly. Both of these farms are within close proximity to one another, as well as to the initial farms identified as part of the outbreak source. Traffic between farms in close proximity is common and may lead to further virus detection.

In addition, another barn sourced out as a potentially infected site has been confirmed to have the virus. As of now, a total of eight poultry farms are infected with avian influenza. However, the provincial government has notified CFIA of another farm where the virus is suspected.

CFIA suggests that testing is underway and results can be expected within a day. Poultry farmers are urged to take an active role in protecting their flocks by employing strict biosecurity measures on their property, as well as report any suspicious symptoms to the CFIA.



According to CFIA, birds have been humanely euthanized on four farms, and depopulation activities have begun on the fifth farm. The remaining farms will be depopulated in the coming days.

Resources have been mobilized to manage this situation, says the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. As well, they are continuing to work closely with the province, poultry farmers, and the poultry industry to manage this outbreak.

According to the World Health Organization, most avian influenza viruses do not infect humans however; there have been some cases where vulnerable individuals are susceptible. Most cases of contracting the disease stems from direct or indirect contact with infected live or dead poultry. There is no evidence that the virus can spread to people through properly cooked food.

The CFIA agrees with WHO in that the H5N2 avian virus poses minimal risks to humans when properly cooked and handled. Any illness contracted would be mild.

For more information on avian influenza and measures poultry farmers can take to protect their flocks, visit the CFIA website.

http://www.kelownanow.com/news/health/n ... e_Bird_Flu

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2014 12:51 pm 
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Audio says 3 of 9 farms are turkey farms

http://www.cbc.ca/player/Radio/Local+Sh ... 634342604/

THE EARLY EDITION | Dec 11, 2014 | 5:59
B.C. Turkey Farmers respond to avian flu concerns
Avian flu has been detected at 8 sites in the Fraser Valley. Michel Benoit is the general manager of BC Turkey Farmers.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2014 12:53 pm 
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Audio with more detail
http://www.cbc.ca/player/Radio/Local+Sh ... 634342604/

B.C. Agriculture Minister Norm Letnick on avian flu n Fraser Valley
The spread of the avian flu remains a big concern in BC. The virus has spread to 7 farms and 1 barn in the Fraser Valley. Norm Letnick is B.C.'s Minister of Agriculture and the MLA for Kelowna-Lake Country.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2014 4:45 pm 
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B.C. restricts poultry movements to contain virus

Don Jenkins
Capital Press
Published:
December 10, 2014 11:04AM
Last changed:
December 10, 2014 2:08PM

Canadian officials restrict movements of captive birds to contain highly contagious and lethal straing of avian influenza.
Image
A highly contagious and lethal strain of avian influence has been found at eight British Columbia poultry farms and claimed 155,000 chickens or turkeys, Canadian officials said Wednesday.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s chief veterinarian, Harpreet Kocchar, warned the outbreak may spread to other farms because of the highly pathogenic nature of this particular strain of H5N2 virus.

“We don’t know at what stage of the situation we are,” he said.

Canadian officials have restricted the movement of captive birds in the southern half of British Columbia to stop the spread of the virus. Kocchar said officials hope the zone also will prevent the European Union from banning poultry from throughout Canada.

Birds can’t move in, out or through the zone without a permit issued by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. The restrictions also apply to equipment that came in contact with captive birds.

The B.C. control zone extends south to the U.S. border. There have no reports of infected birds in Washington.

Washington Department of Agriculture spokesman Mike Louisell said samples taken from 23 birds at a livestock auction in Everson in Whatcom County on Dec. 8 were tested at Washington State University’s Avian Health and Food Safety Laboratory in Puyallup.

At least seven birds from elsewhere in Whatcom County have also been tested, Louisell said. All tests have been negative.

The WSDA routinely tests poultry for avian influenza. “Obviously, the outbreak has put us on greater alert,” Louisell said.

The eight B.C. poultry farms are in the Fraser Valley and the neighboring towns of Chilliwack and Abbotsford, within 10 miles of the Washington border.

Backyard flocks within 2 miles of the infected commercial farms are being monitored for illness, according to Canadian officials.

The highly pathogenic strain of H5N2 virus was first detected Dec. 1 at a broiler breeder farm in Chilliwack. The seventh and eighth farms, both broiler breeder farms, were identified Wednesday.

Birds not killed by the virus are being euthanized.

Officials have not identified a source of the outbreak, though the virus can be carried by wild migratory birds.

Kocchar said wildlife officials have not seen an increase in wild bird mortality in the area. Tests on wild birds for avian influenza have been negative, he said.

Canadian officials have been at pains to stress in every press release that properly cooked poultry and poultry products from the province do not pose a risk to humans. Humans who have “extensive contact” with infected birds may come down with a “mild illness,” according to Canadian food safety officials.

“Due to the nature of the production within these (infected farms), it’s unlikely any birds from the affected flocks entered the human food chain,” according to a statement from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

Nevertheless, the outbreak has caused at least eight countries, including the United States, to halt the importation of poultry and poultry products from British Columbia.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has placed temporary prohibitions on the importation of poultry, commercial birds, eggs, unprocessed avian products and by-products, and some fresh poultry products from southern British Columbia.

The other countries imposing restrictions are Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Mexico, South Africa, South Korea and Taiwan.

National Chicken Council spokesman Tom Super said he doubts the bans will have much effect on U.S. producers or consumers.

The H5N2 virus has never been detected in Washington. The most recent outbreaks in Canada were in 2009 in British Columbia and 2010 in Manitoba. Both times the virus was “low pathogenic,” a less contagious and less lethal strain.

An avian influenza outbreak in 2004 in the Chilliwack and Abbotsford areas claimed 16 million chickens.

Canadian officials say B.C. farmers will be compensated for birds that were euthanized to contain the outbreak.

The control zone extends west to the Pacific Ocean, east to Alberta and north of Highway 16.

Washington residents can report signs of illness in poultry to the WSDA at 1-800-606-3056.

http://www.capitalpress.com/Nation_Worl ... tain-virus

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2014 7:58 pm 
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LETTERS: Farmers need to be responsible
0
posted Dec 11, 2014 at 9:00 AM
Editor:

Avian flu—not again. The bad farmers need to pay not taxpayers.

As you know this is not the first time nor will it be the last time. Until penalties and stronger supervision of farmers are instigated this will continue. The first time in 2004, 17 million birds put the Fraser Valley on the world map. Next in 2005, 41,000 birds, then 2009 with 72,000 birds and now five farms and how many more?

Did you know that the federal government does pay the full cost to euthanize the birds, cleanup of the barns and burial of the birds? The farmer gets paid the full mature market price of his birds but does not get deducted the feed or labour costs related to his business would be costs to raise them to market level.

Ray Nickel and the B.C. Poultry Association are responsible for their Old Boys Club mentality. Extra quota when required is given to existing members on a percentage basis. At two per cent of your bird count, 60,000 birds would be 1,200 new bird quota. Then they will have a lottery for any farmer with land that qualify as a farm and that is for only 5,000 birds. You cannot make any money with 5,000 birds. You will lose money for the next 10 years unless you have another job.

Having lived in the Fraser Valley for the last 25 years, I have seen changes and I do not like them. I feel sorry for residents that live within one mile of a farm. If you look at the side of these barns where they expel the air from inside, the siding is discoloured and has to be power washed three times a year. It seems whichever way the wind blows, it is up and down the valley when farms are this close together they are bound to spread between farms quickly.

I have a few recommendations that should be looked at seriously or we will not have a small farm quota system in this valley—it will be given to a large corporate company like they have in Washington State that has only six farms to supply twice the population (and fewer problems).

• Farmers should be responsible for all costs involved on their farm for cleanup and bird loss. (Penalty of 5,000 birds less on their quota.)

• Quota system should be spread out to different areas of the province e.g. Kamloops, Cranbrook and Williams Lake. Minimum lottery size 60,000 birds for at least four farms out of the valley.

• The Poultry Association needs directors to sit on their board from different walks of life not just part of the Old Boys Club.

• Federal government to review design and biological requirements for new and existing farms. Something to be done on exhaust and intake pathogenicity cleansing, black light, filters, etc.

On another note, there is a lineup at the travel agents’ from the five farms that were infected. They have a paid holiday for three weeks—just like the last time.

Don Benson

Chilliwack

http://www.bclocalnews.com/opinion/285508781.html

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2014 9:46 am 
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http://www.recombinomics.com/News/12121 ... WB_MM.html

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2014 11:57 am 
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Avian Flu Outbreak in British Columbia Spreads to Seven Farms
Rishi Iyengar @iyengarrishi Dec. 11, 2014
The virus has affected 155,000 birds in the past week

A sudden spike in avian influenza cases in British Columbia in the past week has now spread to seven farms and affected thousands of birds, according to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

Some 155,000 birds have either died or will be euthanized, the Associated Press reports.

The outbreak originated in the Fraser Valley near Vancouver last week, where turkeys and chickens from two farms tested positive for the H5N2 strain of the virus.

Although the bug does not pose a major threat to humans as long as the meat from these birds is cooked properly, its sudden resurgence a huge blow to the region’s poultry industry.

http://time.com/3631176/avian-influenza ... vancouver/

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