Avian influenza detected in Nova Scotia once again
A Port Maitland property with a small backyard flock is the epicentre of Nova Scotia's latest bird flu infection.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) declared the outbreak on Saturday after testing confirmed a number of species of birds were infected at what the agency has classified as a "non-commercial premises".
According to CFIA regional veterinary officer Margaret McGeoghan, "This was a small flock of mixed poultry, about 20 birds in total."
The flock has been killed.
The infected zone includes all of Port Maitland in southwestern Nova Scotia and an area with a roughly three-kilometre radius around the infected site.
A larger restricted zone stretches from just north of Yarmouth to Salmon River and includes all the land in between, from Highway 101 to the western coastline. Permits are required to move birds, eggs or bird products through the zone which is roughly 10 kilometres in radius.
Avian influenza was detected in the province in February at a "non-poultry, non-commercial" site. The last case of avian influenza in a commercial poultry operation in Nova Scotia was in March 2022.
According to a CFIA fact sheet on avian influenza, this virus "can affect several species of food-producing birds (chickens, turkeys, quails, guinea fowl, etc.), as well as pet and wild birds."
Although it spreads quickly and is often fatal among birds, transmission to humans only happens "on rare occasions" according to the CFIA.
So far this year, birds infected with highly pathogenic avian influenza have been detected in New Brunswick, Quebec and British Columbia. The most serious outbreaks have been in Quebec and B.C. where the virus has spread through commercial farms and millions of birds have been destroyed.
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