Animal health control order put in place due to avian influenza

Photo from Saskatchewan has declared an animal health control area to reduce the risk of spreading highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI).

Saskatchewan declared an animal health control area order on Apr. 14 to limit the co-mingling of poultry, due to the risk of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI).

The order from Saskatchewan’s Chief Veterinary Officer prohibits the movement to and participation of birds in shows, auctions and agricultural fairs, as well as any other events where birds would be brought together from multiple locations. The order is in effect immediately and will be in place until May 14, 2022, when the situation will be revisited.

The intent of this order is to temporarily reduce the likelihood of direct contact between birds from different locations during the period of time where the risk for HPAI outbreaks is imminent. By implementing this order, the risk of disease transmission between flocks is reduced. 

HPAI has been detected in multiple provinces in Canada, with Saskatchewan reporting its first case in waterfowl on April 8, 2022. Several provinces have been or are currently experiencing outbreaks in domestic poultry, most recently in Albert and Ontario. 

Poultry producers and small flock owners are reminded to follow all necessary biosecurity protocols to protect their flocks from the disease by keeping wild birds away from poultry flocks and their food and water supply, limiting visitors and monitoring bird health. Small flock owners are encouraged to confine their birds indoors if possible, during wild bird migration.

Producers should contact their veterinarian immediately if they have concerns about the health status of their flocks. If HPAI is suspected, producers should also contact their local Canadian Food Inspection Agency office.

The provincial Chief Veterinary Officer has authority to make orders for the purposes of disease prevention and control under Section 2-5 of The Animal Health Act.

Anyone with further questions on avian influenza in poultry can contact the Ministry of Agriculture’s Veterinary Unit at 1-306-787-2150.