CFIA confirms Canada’s first case of bird flu in 2024

CFIA confirms Canada’s first case of bird flu in 2024
Jan 09, 2024

A farm in Quebec is affected

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

A farm in Quebec has Canada’s first case of avian flu in 2024.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) reported the case on a commercial poultry operation in Papineau Regional County Municipality on Jan. 3.

The farm is located near Saint-André-Avellin, a CFIA map shows. The community is about 80km away from Ottawa, Ont.

The news of the outbreak at the farm, which has since put 30 people off work as the facility is cleaned, surprised local authorities.

"We are very surprised. We know it is a company that is careful in its procedures, in its protocols," said Saint-André-Avellin Mayor Jean-René Carrière in a French interview with Radio-Canada, CBC reported on Jan. 8. "We felt spared. We had a feeling of being safe, then we realized that no one is safe. If there are regions that have been spared until now, redouble your efforts: you never know when [the flu] will arrive in your area."

This case of bird flu is Quebec’s first since Dec. 4, 2023.

As of Jan. 4, four properties in Quebec and more than 1 million birds are affected by avian flu, CFIA data says.

Across Canada, 57 premises are infected with avian flu. Most of them, 41, are in B.C.

Recent bird flu outbreaks across the country are causing more damage than in the past.

“The H5N1 (strain) has caused such widespread mortality that I think we can pretty confidently say that within living memory, no avian influenza has affected wild birds in the same capacity,” Jennifer Provencher, a research scientist with Environment and Climate Change Canada, told CTV News.

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