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Avian influenza fact sheet put together for small-flock owners after detection in B.C.

B.C. agriculture ministry reaching out to owners of small flocks across B.C.
Small flock owners can access key info on avian influenza from a just released outreach document from the B.C. agriculture ministry. (Angie Mindus/Williams Lake Tribune file)

Small flock owners of B.C. can get key details about avian influenza from the recently released “Outreach for Small Flocks” factsheet from the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture and Food.

As of April 28 for example, bird owners are prohibited from taking their birds to any “commingling” events like auctions or bird shows, according to the provincial order, which applies to backyard, small flock and commercial bird producers of poultry, domestic waterfowl, doves, and more, until May 19.

“Commingling events include poultry swaps, auctions, flea markets, bird shows, fairs, public displays or competitions where birds from multiple sources would be present.

“Protecting people and birds from avian influenza requires the cooperation and effort of everyone,” according to the ministry documents.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency considers a small flock to be up to 1,000 birds.

Fraser Valley Regional District posted a link to the “Outreach for Small Flocks” document to help get the word out on April 27.

There is also a map of avian influenza primary control zones to prevent the spread of AI.

The “Outreach for Small Flocks” document also has info about what to do if a bird owner suspects their flock is infected, or if a dead wild bird is found.

RELATED: Outbreak raising questions about what constitutes a ‘small flock’

The ministry also released an order recently stating “all regulated commercial chicken and turkey operations, as well as commercial duck and geese (both live and egg) producers with 100 or more birds must maintain indoor operations.”

An avian influenza hotline is now available at 604-855-8255 seven days a week from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

RELATED: Poultry farmers asked to keep birds indoors

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Jennifer Feinberg

About the Author: Jennifer Feinberg

I have been a Chilliwack Progress reporter for 20+ years, covering city hall, Indigenous, business, and climate change stories.
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