GUELPH/ERAMOSA – A turkey farm in Guelph/Eramosa has been linked to an outbreak of avian flu also affecting two other farms in southern Ontario.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has confirmed three cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza, a subtype called H5N1, all involving commercial turkey farms.
On March 27, the CFIA confirmed the presence of H5N1 in a poultry flock on a Guelph/Eramosa farm. In the following days, the outbreak was confirmed on two other turkey farms in the townships of Woolwich and Zorra.
“To control any potential spread of the disease, the CFIA has placed the premises under quarantine and is establishing movement control measures and recommending enhanced biosecurity for other farms in the area,” said an alert about the outbreak. Guelph/Eramosa Farm.
According to the CFIA, no birds, bird products or bird by-products are allowed to enter or leave the property without permission when a poultry farm is under quarantine.
Stricter biosecurity measures include controlling visitor access to only essential items, cleaning all shoes and tires, routine disinfection, close monitoring of herd health, and limiting any new bird in the flock.
In an email, a CFIA spokesperson said the source of the outbreak most likely came from wild birds where the virus naturally circulates and is spread through migration.
They said work to minimize impact and spread could include:
- Negotiate with key trading partners to recognize areas of control to minimize the impact of trade disruptions.
- Collaborate with industry, provincial governments and Indigenous partners on response and recovery measures.
- Remind poultry owners to protect their flocks with biosecurity measures and to report any signs of disease.
- Impose strict requirements on the importation of animals and animal products from countries where avian influenza is known to exist.
“The CFIA is taking immediate disease control action in response to all situations where domestic birds are suspected of being infected with AI,” the spokesperson said.
The email stated that all disease response situations were different, but common measures were taken, including restrictions on movement (quarantines), submission of samples, investigation, destruction and disposal. birds, as well as cleaning and disinfection.
“AI is spreading in wild bird populations around the world and presents a significant national concern as birds migrate into Canada,” the alert reads. “The CFIA continues to remind anyone with poultry or other susceptible birds to practice good biosecurity habits to protect themselves from infectious animal diseases.