Detection of high pathogenic avian influenza (H5N1) in Newfoundland and Labrador 2021
Update on current investigation
January 11, 2022
On January 9, 2022, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) confirmed the presence of high pathogenic Avian Influenza (AI), subtype H5N1, at an additional farm in the Avalon Peninsula on the island portion of Newfoundland and Labrador. This small flock farm does not produce birds for sale.
Canada's status as 'free from AI' remains in place in accordance with the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) guidance.
While this additional detection should have no impact on trade, this situation serves as a strong reminder that AI is spreading across the globe in wild birds as they migrate to and from Canada, and that anyone with farm animals, including birds, should practice good biosecurity habits to protect them from animal diseases.
December 22, 2021
On December 20, the CFIA confirmed the presence of high pathogenic AI, subtype H5N1, at a multi-species exhibition farm in the Avalon Peninsula on the island portion of Newfoundland and Labrador. This exhibition farm does not produce birds for sale.
As the infected birds were located on an exhibition farm, and no other cases resembling Avian Influenza have been reported in the vicinity of the farm, Canada's status as 'free from AI' remains in place in accordance with the OIE guidance.
Avian Influenza circulates naturally in avian fauna and recent detections of high pathogenic AI in Europe indicate an even higher risk of the disease in North American poultry flocks this year. This makes it more important than ever for anyone raising poultry to remain vigilant against AI and ensure they have effective biosecurity measures in place. Biosecurity is a key tool for preventing the transmission of this disease to North American farm birds.
While this detection should have no impact on trade, it does serve as a strong reminder that Avian Influenza is spreading across the globe, and that anyone with farm animals must practice good biosecurity habits. Meanwhile, officials from the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, the CFIA, and the owner of the infected birds are working closely together to manage this particular situation.
Resources are available for producers and owners of backyard flocks and pet birds:
- 5 rules to prevent and detect disease in backyard flocks and pet birds
- Protect your flock from bird flu
- General producer guide – National avian on-farm biosecurity standard
- National avian on-farm biosecurity standard
- Initial tests for the disease were conducted on December 16, 2021 by the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, after the farm experienced sudden deaths of birds over several days.
- In an abundance of caution, the CFIA has placed the farm under quarantine and established a 10 km zone with movement control measures and enhanced biosecurity to limit any potential spread of the disease.
- The CFIA has advised the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) of the outbreak. As the infected birds were located on an exhibition farm, the detection is considered a non-poultry detection according to the OIE definition. Canada's animal health status as 'free from AI' remains in place. No trade restrictions are anticipated as a result of this detection.
- The CFIA reminds poultry producers to remain vigilant and to apply biosecurity measures at all times. For more information on avian influenza and measures poultry farms can take to protect their flocks, please visit the Avian Influenza page on the CFIA website.
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