April 6, 2004, just-food.com: Hoping to stem the
spread of bird flu, Canadian officials have order a massive cull that
will affect around 80% of the British Columbia’s poultry producers.
Around 19 million chickens and turkeys in Fraser Valley will be slaughtered.
Columbia struggles with bird flu
April 5, 2004, just-foom.com: Avian
influenza has so far been found on eighteen commercial
poultry farms in Fraser Valley, British Columbia, Canadian
officials reported as they struggle to get the outbreaks
“We cannot be certain at this time that we are
on top of the situation. Further time will be required
and we are working creatively, flexibly and passionately
to consider new protocols and industry approaches,”
Brian Evans, of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency,
was quoted by the Canadian Press as saying,
Evans said the disease had probably been brought to
the region by wild waterfowl but was now being spread
by human activity.
Around 400,000 chickens have been slaughtered already
in a bid to halt the spread of the disease, but the
latest discoveries are likely to lead to further culls.
Some poultry producers have suggested a cull of the
entire poultry population of Fraser Valley, which would
include around 16 million birds.
The cull became necessary after the disease spread beyond a controlled
hot-zone surrounding the first infected farms. Last week the disease
spread to two farms outside the zone, and within days the number
of infected farms rose to 18, many of which were outside the control
Officials were struggling to catch up with the spread of the disease
and a mass slaughter is the only realistic way to stop its spread,
said Jim Clarke, a spokesman for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency
as reported by the Associated Press.
Four of British Columbia’s poultry groups, BC Chicken Growers
Association, BC Broiler Hatching Egg Producers, BC Egg Producers
and BC Turkey Producers, said they supported the plans.
"Our main goal is to stamp out avian influenza and rebuild
our industry," said Ray Nickel, president of the BC Poultry
Committee. "Although these measures are drastic, we feel they
are necessary to eradicate the disease among affected flocks. We
will continue to work together with the CFIA and the provincial
and federal government to implement these plans."
The British Columbia poultry industry has already lost C$10m (US$7.6m)
to date due to avian influenza and the depopulation plan is expected
to cost the industry hundreds of millions of dollars. The poultry
industry in British Columbia is worth more than C$800m (US$609.6m)
per year and the bulk of production is situated in the Fraser Valley.
Poultry producers and processors have appealed to the provincial
and federal governments for financial assistance to help the industry