U.S. bans B.C. poultry products as fifth farm is quarantined

Avian influenza has now been found at four Abbotsford poultry farms, plus one in Chilliwack.

The United States has banned poultry products from British Columbia, according to CTV.

The news came soon after the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) announced avian influenza had been detected at a 60,000-bird turkey farm in Abbotsford. The farm is the fifth where the virus has been detected.

Four other Asian countries have also placed restrictions on imports of B.C. poultry products.

CFIA officials have begun to destroy birds at farms affected by the avian flu outbreak that hit the Fraser Valley this week.

With the announcement of a fifth farm affected, the total number birds that have either already died from the virus or will be euthanized has risen to 140,000. Their bodies will be recycled on site, after which vehicles, tools and buildings at the affected farms will be cleaned and disinfected

A Chilliwack broiler breeder chicken farm will be the first to be ‘de-populated,’ CFIA chief veterinarian Harpreet Kochar said Friday at a tele-conference. The farm had 13,000 birds.

Birds at three other farms in Abbotsford – a 28,000-bird turkey farm and two broiler breeder farms, with 14,000 and 25,000 birds, respectively – will be killed in the coming days. (The province had previously said that one of the broiler breeder farms were located in Chilliwack, but chief veterinary officer Dr. Jane Pritchard said Friday three of the four barns were located in Abbotsford).

International regulations require officials to kill all birds on farms where avian flu is detected, Kochar said.

The owners of the farms affected will receive compensation for destroyed birds in line with federal guidelines. Turkeys for meat production will fetch $70 each in compensation, while chicken farmers will be compensated with $60 for each parent breeding bird.

Watch abbynews.com for more information as it becomes available.

-with files from CTV News