All but one avian flu quarantine lifted in B.C.

A table egg layer operation near Langley is now the only farm still under quarantine for avian flu in British Columbia.

All 13 properties in B.C.’s Fraser Valley that had been quarantined for highly-pathogenic H5N2 or H5N1 avian flu since the beginning of December have since been culled of birds, cleaned and disinfected.

A subsequent 21-day waiting period is still underway at the egg farm, however, before its quarantine can also be lifted.

Federal quarantines were lifted effective Sunday on two of the other properties, a pair of “non-commercial” farms at Aldergrove and Chilliwack that were confirmed with H5N2 and H5N1 respectively.

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The Chilliwack farm had seen about 95 egg-laying birds affected, while about 85 chickens, turkeys, ducks and geese were affected at the Aldergrove property.

Barring any new outbreaks anywhere else in the country, the federal government can seek to have Canada’s avian flu-free status restored, 90 days after cleaning and disinfection are complete on all affected properties.

Surveillance testing of domestic poultry will continue throughout B.C. for the 90-day period, which is required under standards established by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) for countries establishing avian flu-free status.

Meeting that OIE standard will be an “important step” toward removal of any trade restrictions set up against B.C. and/or Canadian poultry products, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency previously said.

Countries including the U.S., South Korea, Hong Kong, South Africa, Mexico, Taiwan and Japan have had varying degrees of bans on those products since the Fraser Valley outbreaks. — AGCanada.com Network

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