October 3, 2022 October 3, 2022

Avian influenza confirmed in Sask. poultry flocks

Posted on 18 April 2022 by Prairie Post

 Saskatchewan Agriculture

Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) has recently been confirmed in a Saskatchewan backyard flock and a commercial poultry flock.

The Government of Saskatchewan continues to work with the poultry industry and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), which is leading the disease response in Saskatchewan as well as in other provinces experiencing outbreaks in farmed birds. CFIA-confirmed findings of HPAI in domestic poultry are posted on the CFIA website (https://inspection.canada.ca/animal-health/terrestrial-animals/diseases/reportable/avian-influenza/response-to-detections-of-highly-pathogenic-avian-/eng/1640207916497/1640207916934)

Biosecurity remains the best tool for poultry producers and small flock owners to protect their birds from avian influenza. Biosecurity protocols include 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 avian influenza is suspected, producers should also contact their local CFIA office.

On April 14, 2022, Saskatchewan’s Chief Veterinary Officer put in place an animal health control area order to limit the co-mingling of poultry due to the risk of HPAI. The order, in place until May 14, 2022, 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. 

There is no risk to food safety. The risk of transmission of avian influenza to humans is low. However, people working with poultry suspected of being infected with avian influenza should use protective clothing.

Saskatchewan producers and farm families are reminded the provincial Farm Stress Line can be contacted 24-hours-a-day at 1-800-667-4442.

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