British Columbia's poultry farms officially under state of emergency

April 13, 2004, British Columbian officials have invoked the region’s Emergency Program Act, as bird flu continues to multiply through the Canadian province.

An order was signed under the Emergency Program Act at the weekend allowing the use of incinerators and landfills to dispose of infected poultry carcasses amid a massive cull and poultry depopulation plan, reported Dow Jones International News. Officials hope these efforts will keep the influenza from spreading further.

The destruction of around 19 million birds was ordered last week in order to stop the disease from spreading any further. Around 25 poultry farms in the province’s Fraser Valley are now believed to be infected with bird flu.

The cull, which will affect around 80% of the province’s poultry producers, became necessary after the disease spread beyond a controlled hot-zone surrounding the first infected farms.