UPDATED – Avian Flu Control Zone Now Covers Half Of BC

Business in Vancouver magazine is reporting that, due to BC’s high concentration of poultry operations in a small area, and the infectious nature of the Avian Flu discovered on Fraser Valley farms, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has put the southern half of the province under control in an attempt to stop the spread of the virus.

[excerpt] The southern half of B.C. has been declared a control zone in an attempt to stop the spread of a virulent avian influenza that has appeared at five Fraser Valley farms and prompted seven countries to restrict B.C. poultry imports.

“Because southern B.C. has a high concentration of poultry operations, the primary control zone covers an area beyond the premises that are currently affected,” the CFIA said in a December 8 release.

The control zone is divided into three smaller zones: infected, restricted and security. The three zones represent different risk levels and movement restrictions.

Meanwhile the Toronto Star is reporting the agency and the industry have learned from mistakes of the past.

[excerpt] Mike Dungate, executive director of the Chicken Farmers of Canada, said producers have been pushing for a larger control area. “Because we lived through this in 2004,” he said. “In 2004, they made the control area too small at the start and had to enlarge it.”

A decade ago, a highly pathogenic strain of H7N3 avian flu swept through commercial farms and backyard coups in the Fraser Valley, resulting in the destruction of 17 million birds.

The latest flu has prompted the United States, Mexico, South Africa and several Asian countries to impose a variety of trade restrictions on poultry from either Canada, British Columbia or the Fraser Valley.

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