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Avian influenza detected on Mountain View County farm prompts new control zone

Of the 162 birds at the Mountain View County site where avian influenza was detected, 156 were infected and died while the six others were killed and also disposed of
The green shading on mapping provided by CFIA is the primary control zone established for the most recent avian influenza cases detected in Mountain View County. Screenshot

MOUNTAIN VIEW COUNTY - The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has established a primary control zone (PCZ) around a poultry farm in Mountain View County east of Didsbury following the discovery of H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) on the non-commercial property, officials said. 

As a result of the declaration, birds, their products and by-products, as well as things exposed to birds cannot be moved into, out of, within, or through PCZ except by permission of the agency.

The zone itself is bordered on the north by the Bergen Road, Rge. Rd. 282 on the east, Twp. Rd. 313 on the south, and Rge. Rd. 290 on the west, according to a map published on the CFIA website.

The property involved was a non-commercial chicken - table egg layer; turkey - meat backyard farm, according to the World Organisation for Animal Health website.

Of the 162 birds at the site, 156 were infected and died. The six others were killed and also disposed of.

“The CFIA is not releasing additional details about the operations of individual premises in order to help protect the privacy of producers who are dealing with a significant setback for their farms,” an agency spokesperson emailed the Albertan in response to a request for information.

“The movement controls and related permit requirements for this type of PCZ reflect the lower risk of disease spread associated with a non-commercial infected premises. In most cases, commercial operations in the PCZ will continue to operate normally through the use of general permits and appropriate biosecurity procedures.”

Avian influenza viruses can be classified into two categories: low pathogenicity (LPAI) and high pathogenicity (HPAI) viruses, based on the severity of the illness caused in birds. Highly pathogenic viruses can cause severe illness and death in birds.

Avian influenza viruses, such as the highly pathogenic H5N1 virus present in Asia, can, on rare occasions, cause disease in humans.

Transmission to humans has occurred when people have had close contact with infected birds or heavily contaminated environments.

On September 27, the CFIA established a primary control zone around a non-commercial backyard chicken farm in the same general area as the latest property.

In that case, 16 birds were infected and died, and 71 other birds at the facility were killed and also disposed of. The overall disposal was completed by Oct. 15. That PCZ was revoked on Nov. 13.

On Oct. 26, the CFIA posted on its website that a non-commercial, non-poultry farm in Mountain View County had been infected. 

“In that case the infected premises (AB-IP55) was a non-commercial, non-poultry operation. This means that there were less than 300 birds on the farm and no birds or poultry products were sold from the farm. Non-commercial, non-poultry infected premises do not trigger a PCZ,” the agency spokesperson said.

PCZs were put in place at several Mountain View County properties in April following the discovery of HPAI at those facilities. Those zones have now been revoked.



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