Another case of avian influenza has been detected in a poultry flock around Vancouver Island, according to the Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN).
On Wednesday, June 15th, the BC Animal Centre confirmed to the RDN that avian flu, or the highly pathogenic H5N1 virus, was found in a local backyard poultry premises.
In a statement, the province says the site was placed under quarantine by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) back on April 23rd, after it was deemed a “Suspect Premises.”
According to the province, the CFIA and the BC Ministry of Agriculture and Food continue to implement additional response measures to address the situation.
On Thursday, Somerset Farm on Gabriola Island, located about 5 kilometres east of Nanaimo, took to Facebook, saying the avian flu outbreak was at another farm on the island.
“We will be quarantined until a control zone is set,” wrote Somerset Farm.
“For now, you are still able to come to the shop for meat purchases but not eggs. As we learn more about the restrictions, we will let you know.”
The announcement comes over a month after a small flock in the Comox Valley tested positive for the virus.
Since mid-April, 17 avian flu outbreaks have been detected in both small and commercial flocks across BC, including in Kelowna, Richmond, Armstrong and the central Kootenays.
Often referred to as “bird flu,” the province says signs of avian flu include sudden death, decreased food consumption and egg production, and excessive thirst, among other symptoms.
Bird owners must notify authorities of serious bird diseases such as avian flu and refrain from taking sick birds off their property, according to BC officials, who find no evidence eating cooked poultry or eggs transmits the virus to humans.
Find the RDN’s full notice online here.