Press Release

Posted: May 13, 2022      |      By: Communications

Preventing the spread of Avian Influenza through movement restrictions

The Ministry of Agriculture and Food (the Ministry) would like to provide the following resources for bird owners regarding restrictions to bird movement put in place to prevent the spread of Avian Influenza (AI). AI has been detected in B.C., as well as other provinces in Canada and the United States.

Commingling of birds restricted
The Ministry has released a General Order for Avian Influenza as per the Animal Health Act (AHA), restricting the commingling of birds during events that include poultry swaps, auctions, flea markets, bird shows, fairs, public displays, or competitions where birds from multiple sources would be present. The order can be found here: General Orders

This order applies province-wide to all backyard, small flock, and commercial bird producers. Bird types included in the order are: chicken, turkeys, doves, ducks, geese, guinea fowl, peafowl, pheasants, pigeons, quails, and ratites. Protecting people and birds from avian influenza requires the cooperation and effort of everyone.

Is your flock in a Primary Control Zone (PCZ)?
A PCZ is an area where the disease has been identified. The Federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food has declared a primary control zone in BC to prevent the spread of AI. Avian Influenza Zone Maps are available here.

If your flock is in a PCZ, you will need a permit to move your birds, their products, and by-products.
All transporters of birds, their products, and by-products cannot be moved into, out of, within, or through the PCZ without a valid permit. The restrictions in a PCZ apply to small flocks as well.

Small flock owners should be aware of the following requirements:

  • For small holdings, including birds of any age, it is prohibited to move live birds
    into and out of the PCZs, including both infected zone and restricted zone.
  • Small flock ungraded eggs (farm gate sales) require a specific permit.
  • A general permit is required to move feed into a Primary Control Zone.

For more information on movement control and permitting please visit CFIA’s Avian influenza – permits and conditions webpage or call the BC Ministry of Agriculture and Food Avian Influenza hotline at 604-855-8255. The support line is available every day from 8:30am to 4:30pm (PDT).

If a flock is suffering from any unexplained clinical signs or increased mortality, bird owners should contact a professional for help and sampling. Do not take sick birds off the property.

Some or all of the following clinical signs are evident in infected birds:

  • a drop in production of eggs, many of which are soft-shelled or shell-less
  • diarrhea
  • haemorrhages on the hock
  • high and sudden mortality rate
  • quietness and extreme depression
  • swelling of the skin under the eyes
  • wattles and combs become swollen and congested

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