Avian flu hits backyard birds in Aldergrove

Avian influenza has been detected on another farm in Langley, this time a backyard flock in Aldergrove.

The latest case was confirmed on Dec. 19 and involves about 85 ducks, geese, chickens, and turkeys in total, according to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

This is the third farm in the Langley and Aldergrove areas affected, and the 12th confirmed case of the avian flu strain.

Birds that have survived the virus are to be humanely destroyed to prevent the further spread of the disease.

The other two Langley cases involved 53,000 egg-laying hens on one farm, and 11,800 broilers and breeders on another farm.

Most of the farms where the virus has been detected so far have been in Abbotsford, with one of the first in Chilliwack.

It’s uncertain exactly how the virus is spreading, but the CFIA has said it is possible it’s being carried by wild waterfowl.

The CFIA has clamped down on moving birds, including pets, throughout southern British Columbia.

For hobby farmers and those with small flocks of pet birds, they recommend restricting the movements of birds to avoid contact with wild birds, and to avoid contact with ponds or bodies of water known to have been used by wild birds.

Even pet birds need permits before being moved within, out of, or into the control zone, the CFIA said.

Owners are also encouraged to monitor their birds for signs of disease and call a veterinarian if they have concerns.

The CFIA will compensate the owner of the backyard flock for the birds that are destroyed.

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