ARCHIVED - Notice to Industry - CFIA removes Avian Influenza Primary Control Zone in British Columbia

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Ottawa, March 11, 2015:

As of March 9, 2015, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has removed the avian influenza Primary Control Zone (PCZ) in British Columbia. Permits are no longer required for the movement of birds and bird products in British Columbia.

There continue to be international restrictions on Canadian exports of birds and bird products. The CFIA established the PCZ to control movement and further spread of notifiable avian influenza in British Columbia. The CFIA's disease control measures and ongoing biosecurity efforts by producers prevented further spread of the disease. Surveillance by the CFIA has not detected the H5N2 and H5N1 strains of the virus in domestic poultry since February 2, 2015.

All infected premises have completed the required cleaning and disinfection procedures under CFIA oversight. Three of these premises are under quarantine for the remainder of their 21 day period to satisfy international requirements. Movement to and from these premises remains under CFIA control.

The cooperation of, and support from, the British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture, poultry industry associations, marketing boards and individual bird owners were critical to the successful control of this outbreak and the removal of the PCZ.

The CFIA continues to urge poultry farmers to take an active role in protecting their flocks by employing strict biosecurity measures on their properties, and to immediately report any suspicion of avian influenza. Wild migratory birds are a known reservoir of the avian influenza virus. There is a significant wild bird population in the Fraser Valley and it is a known flyway for migrating birds.

Surveillance testing of domestic poultry will be conducted throughout British Columbia for the ninety days following the completion of cleaning and disinfection on all infected premises. This surveillance is required under the standards established by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) for countries establishing their avian influenza free status.

Meeting the OIE standard will be an important step toward the removal of trade restrictions. Canada will work with its trading partners to return to normal trading requirements as quickly as possible.

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