A Quebec duck-farming operation that detected avian flu at three of its facilities says it has to slaughter 150,000 birds and lay off nearly 300 employees.
Angela Anderson of Brome Lake Ducks says it will likely take six to 12 months and possibly several million dollars to fully restore its operations.
She said in an interview Wednesday that one the facilities affected by the H5N1 flu contained all the company's breeding stock, including 400,000 Pekin duck eggs that were ordered destroyed.
Once birds that are in the pipeline at unaffected facilities are processed, she says the company will have to lay off staff because there will be no more ducks coming in.
Veterinarian Jean-Pierre Vaillancourt of the Université de Montréal says the highly pathogenic H5N1 bird flu represents the highest-risk strain that Quebec farmers have ever faced.
He said that while it doesn't pose much of a risk to humans, it's so contagious that all animals on an infected farm need to be destroyed on site to stop it from spreading.