THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO --- April 12, 2015 --- The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has established an Avian Influenza Control Zone in Ontario to control the movement of animals, products and equipment in the area to minimize disease spread.
The boundary of the Avian Influenza Control Zone covers a 10km radius from the single premises confirmed to be infected with avian influenza, located in Oxford County, Ontario.
All premises located within the Avian Influenza Control Zone have now been placed under quarantine. In total, the CFIA has quarantined 29 premises; however, only the initial infected premises has shown any signs of illness. The Agency is monitoring these additional premises closely for any signs of disease.
The establishment of individual quarantines and the Avian Influenza Control Zone is part of an internationally accepted practice to allow trade to continue from non-infected areas of a country. The establishment of this zone will contribute to the alleviation of market access restrictions. Our largest trading partner, the United States, has recognized our zone; trade from outside the zone will resume on April 13, 2015. We continue to work very closely with industry and our international partners as this situation develops.
The CFIA has completed scientific testing at the Agency's National Centre for Foreign Animal Disease (NCFAD) to sequence the virus of this particular H5N2 strain of avian influenza. This strain of the virus currently present in Ontario is nearly identical to the strain identified in British Columbia at the end of 2014. It also closely matches the strain isolated in Washington State, US. Avian influenza strains circulate in migratory wild birds and waterfowl which pose a risk for spreading the disease.
Avian influenza does not pose a risk to food safety when poultry and poultry products are properly handled and cooked. Avian influenza rarely affects humans that do not have consistent contact with infected birds.
As the CFIA's investigation progresses, any additional control measures will be assessed and put into place as appropriate.
Poultry farmers are reminded to practice a high level of biosecurity to reduce the risk of disease spread, and report any suspicious symptoms in their flocks to the CFIA.
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.
Also see March 6, 2015 story
New cases of avian influenza have been confirmed in the state of Minnesota. The CFIA advisory to travellers has been updated to reflect this information