Avian influenza threatens the poultry industry in New Brunswick

Strict biosecurity measures have been in place since February at Westco Group facilities.

For example, workers have to change their clothes and shoes when moving from one establishment to another. The people who come and go to the commercial farms are also very limited.

Thomas Susi had hoped that biosecurity measures would be able to loosen up a bit in the spring. This is not the caseHe said. We are constantly reminded that disease exists […] It is very worrying.

One of the strongest reminders of New Brunswick is the hundreds upon hundreds of gannet carcasses that have been found on beaches across the province in recent weeks.

Bird flu cases on the rise

Avian influenza spreads rapidly among wild animals in North America.

In addition to wild birds, domesticated groups are also threatened. This disease is highly contagious among different types of birds, including poultry, on farms.

If contact between wild birds and domestic birds is possible, infection may be present. The virus has already killed large numbers of birds across Canada, and outbreaks have occurred on breeding farmssays a pathologist at the Canadian Wildlife Network Megan Jones.

Additional precautions have been taken by the Westco Group in Saint-François-de-Madawaska to prevent bird flu from spreading within commercial farms.

Photo: Radio Canada

The H5N1 avian influenza strain has already been detected on poultry farms in western Canada.

Chicken farmers in Canada Director of Communications Lisa Spencer chopindicates that this is the first time that cases of bird flu have been reported in several Canadian provinces at the same time.

In addition, many of these infections are associated with wild birds, while their spread was more common through domestic birds, from farm to farm.

In total, nearly two million birds from commercial farms have so far been euthanized, according to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to Stop the Spread (CFIA).

In the event of an outbreak

Avian influenza is often spread through the secretions and dung of migratory wild birds.

Despite the precautions taken by Westco Group, tension prevails. And for good reason: the virus can wipe out an entire commercial farm in just a few days.

We are still not safeThomas Susi was fired. It is still very annoying, it can enter through the air. There may be excreta that is dry from outside and then turned into dust and then it comes with the wind, and it will go in with the ventilation system.

President and CEO of the Westco Group, Thomas Susi. Westco Group is one of the largest poultry production organizations in Canada.

Photo: Radio Canada/Alexander Silbermann

When a case of avian influenza is detected on a commercial farm, a protocol is established very quickly byCFI to stop the spread. Birds in the affected area are euthanized and birds in the surrounding areas are isolated.

According to Thomas Souci, the Westco group will need a year and a half to recover if the virus hits facilities in Saint-François-de-Madawaska.

In New Brunswick, only small, non-commercial chicken farms have been affected by bird flu so far.

An outbreak on commercial farms will affect the supply chain.

Moreover, the authorities are not overly concerned about human-to-human transmission of the virus.

With information from a radio program the morning Alexander’s report Silberman From CBC

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