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What commercial poultry producers should expect when it comes to surveillance activities in a primary control zone

We work closely with provincial and territorial governments, livestock and poultry industries to conduct surveillance in a primary control zone in addition to regular surveillance activities to prevent the spread of animal diseases, such as avian influenza.

Why surveillance activities are required

Surveillance activities are required to:

  • inform our disease response activities and to ultimately revoke a commercial primary control zone (PCZ)
    • A PCZ is an area where disease has been detected
  • allow Canada to declare its country's status as free from highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) (under the World Organisation for Animal Health, or WOAH)

What happens if your premises require surveillance

If your operations have been identified in a PCZ, surveillance requirements may apply to you.

The cooperation of poultry producers in completing surveillance activities is a necessary step before the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) can revoke a PCZ.

Depending on the types of samples needed, different types of surveillance may be required.

Surveillance depends on the characteristics of the infected premises and the other poultry premises located within the zone.

Types of samples

Dead bird surveillance samples

These are collected from birds found dead or are humanely euthanized because they were sick. These serve as the most valuable samples for early detection of HPAI.

Live bird samples

These are collected from live birds and may be required in some situations (for example, if there are no dead birds available for sampling or for PCZ-specific post-outbreak surveillance).

The CFIA Surveillance and Diagnostics Unit coordinates sampling with producers because the type of samples required depends on the type of surveillance.

Types of surveillance that apply to premises within a PCZ

Outbreak surveillance

Outbreak surveillance starts as soon as the PCZ is established and remains in effect until all outbreak surveillance activities are completed with negative results.

Negative results on all outbreak surveillance activities are required to replace the infected zone (IZ) and restricted zone (RZ) with a security zone (SZ).

Specific outbreak surveillance requirements differ for commercial and non-commercial PCZs.

PCZ-specific post-outbreak surveillance

PCZ-specific post-outbreak surveillance can begin after we approve primary decontamination on the last infected premises associated with the PCZ and remains in effect for a minimum of 28 days.

Negative results on all PCZ-specific post-outbreak surveillance activities are required to revoke the SZ and PCZ.

PCZ-specific post-outbreak surveillance requirements are the same for commercial and non-commercial PCZs.

Surveillance timeframe

The timeframe for the outbreak surveillance and PCZ-specific post-outbreak surveillance may overlap. This depends on the timeline of activities on the infected premises associated with the PCZ.

Revoking a PCZ after completion of surveillance

For PCZ revocation to proceed, cooperation from all poultry producers in the PCZ is required.

When all the surveillance requirements have been met, a revocation order for the PCZ will be issued. There may be ongoing international trade restrictions until Canada's freedom from avian influenza is recognized by its trading partners.

Specific requirements

Select the zone you are located in to view the requirements.

Not sure? Use the PCZ mapping tool.

    • Commercial-Infected zone
    • Sick bird calls: producers in all zones of a PCZ are required to notify the CFIA of increases in mortality or of any suspicion of HPAI.
    • Baseline testing: shortly after identification of an infected premises and establishment of zones, samples are obtained from commercial premises in the IZ to establish their disease status.
    • Surveillance occurring between baseline and zone release testing: ongoing dead bird surveillance (DBS) sampling twice a week is required for commercial premises in the IZ. This sampling continues for a minimum of 14 days after disposal is approved at the last infected premises associated with the IZ. It aids to demonstrate that there has been no further spread of the virus from the infected premises.
    • Infected zone release testing: this type of testing signals the end of outbreak surveillance and can be conducted a minimum of 15 days after disposal is approved at the last infected premises associated with the IZ. Negative test results are required from all samples and all flocks to release the IZ, thus converting the IZ and RZ to a security zone SZ. The IZ and RZ can transition to a SZ 48 hours after receipt of negative results.
    • Commercial-Restricted zone
    • Sick bird calls: producers in all zones of a PCZ are required to notify the CFIA of increases in mortality or of any suspicion of HPAI.
    • Commercial-Security zone
    • Sick bird calls: producers in all zones of a PCZ are required to notify the CFIA of increases in mortality or of any suspicion of HPAI.
    • DBS sampling (+/- live bird sampling): samples are collected from premises located within the PCZ. If you are located in a region of Canada in which there is a high density of commercial poultry farms, you may not be selected for PCZ-specific post-outbreak surveillance activities, as the CFIA will target a minimum number of commercial poultry premises to randomly select for sampling.
    • Non-commercial-Infected zone
    • Sick bird calls: producers in all zones of a PCZ are required to notify the CFIA of increases in mortality or of any suspicion of HPAI.
    • Non-commercial-Restricted zone
    • Sick bird calls: producers in all zones of a PCZ are required to notify the CFIA of increases in mortality or of any suspicion of HPAI.
    • Non-commercial-Security zone
    • Sick bird calls: producers in all zones of a PCZ are required to notify the CFIA of increases in mortality or of any suspicion of HPAI.
    • DBS sampling (+/- live bird sampling): samples are collected from premises located within the PCZ. If you are located in a region of Canada in which there is a high density of commercial poultry farms, you may not be selected for PCZ-specific post-outbreak surveillance activities, as the CFIA will target a minimum number of commercial poultry premises to randomly select for sampling.