The Ministry of Agriculture’s Chief Veterinary Officer has issued an Animal Health Order on September 21, 2022, limiting the transport and comingling of poultry after several cases of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza were confirmed in Saskatchewan.
The health order will be in place until October 21, 2022, at which time it will be reviewed. The order prohibits the movement to and participation of birds in shows, auctions, and agricultural fairs, as well as any other events where birds would be brought together from multiple locations.
The goal of this Animal Health Order is to limit the spread of this virus to new flocks. Producers are reminded to remain vigilant and contact the proper authorities should they have any concerns regarding the health of their flocks. Saskatchewan will continue to work with the CFIA, and the poultry industry to support a coordinated and effective response.
Avian influenza (AI) is a federally reportable disease under the Health of Animals Act. This virus, commonly known as “bird flu,” affects food-producing birds including chickens, turkeys, geese, ducks, and quails, as well as pet and wild birds. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is leading the disease response in Saskatchewan and other provinces experiencing outbreaks in poultry.
Proactive measures, including preventing contact between poultry and wild birds, limiting visitors to barns, using barn-specific clothing and footwear, and regularly monitoring birds for signs of illness, are key to preventing avian influenza on poultry farms. Producers are also reminded that anyone keeping livestock or poultry in Saskatchewan are required to register for a Premises Identification (PID) number. The ability to implement rapid and efficient disease response actions is greatly increased when producers have a PID number.
All detections of highly pathogenic avian influenza in Canada are reported on the CFIA website. Further information on the animal health order and avian influenza in poultry is also available on the ministry of agriculture website.
Although rare, AI can infect humans. Affected people tend to be those who have close contact with infected birds. While birds suspected of having AI should not be used for food to avoid potentially spreading the virus, there are no concerns with eating meat that has been properly cooked.