No evidence avian flu has spread from Niagara duck farm: CIFA
NIAGARA — An update provided by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency into the presence of avian flu at a commercial duck farm says there is no evidence to date that the infection has spread.
To prevent the spread of the infection, 14,000 ducks on the farm were euthanized.
The agency said the strain, which was confirmed on the farm on July 7, is a low pathogenic subtype, which refers to the severity of the illness caused in the birds.
The farm has been placed under quarantine, and the CFIA has established a three-kilometre control zone around the farm.
The agency would not confirm the location of the farm, citing privacy concerns, but The St. Catharines Standard says the farm is on King Street in Beamsville and is owned by Pete Drost.
Harpreet Kochhar, chief veterinary officer with the CFIA, released a statement Friday saying that all surveillance to date has shown the infection has been contained to the farm.
“We’re not seeing any evidence that the outbreak has spread,” he said.
The statement goes on to say officials will continue their surveillance for further evidence of avian influenza and that the control zone will remain in place until further notice.
The CFIA notes avian influenza does not pose a risk to food safety as long as poultry and poultry products are properly handled and cooked. The disease rarely affects humans, the agency said. Kochhar says the farm seems to have followed safety protocols and that the ducks do not appear to have had any exposure to the outdoors.