|March 10, 2004,
just-food.com: Canadian officials have changed
their initial assessment of the strain of bird flu that
effected birds in British Columbia in February. New reports
released by the Canadian Food Inspection reveal that the
strain is actually a more potent variety then was first
thought. Even at the greater strength, the strain poses
little threat to humans, reported Agence France Presse.
EU stops poultry imports
March 11, 2004, just-food.com:
Following the confirmation of a highly pathogenic
avian influenza outbreak in the Canadian
state of British Columbia, the European
Commission has adopted a proposal to suspend
the import of live poultry, poultry meat
and products and eggs from Canada into the
"The risk to human health remains low. This is
not the same virus which currently exists in Asia,"
the agency was quoted by AFP as saying.
In February an outbreak of bird flu was discovered
at a farm east of Vancouver, leading to the cull of
around 16,000 chickens. It was believed to be a low
pathogenic strain of the disease, but now officials
have said tests have found both low and high pathogenic
forms of the H7N3 strain of the virus. High pathogenic
strains are more contagious and have a higher fatality
rate amongst infected birds than low pathogenic strains.
"The presence of both forms of the virus on the
same premises is not unheard of but is rare," the
In response to the discovery, Japan re-imposed its
total ban on live birds, chicken and other poultry meat
from Canada. The Japanese agriculture ministry had recently
eased the ban, allowing imports from other parts of
Canada except British Columbia, but has now re-imposed
the original ban, reported Kyodo News.