On Friday, April 8, Avian Influenza (H5N1) was confirmed in a poultry flock in Kneehill County.
The information was posted on the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) website on April 10 and, according to this information, an investigation has begun, and quarantine and movement control protocols in the affected area are in place.
H5N1 is highly pathogenic and presents a significant national concern as wild birds migrate to Canada because of its spread in wild bird populations globally.
Drumheller-Stettler MLA and Agriculture and Forestry Minister Nate Horner issued a statement on the avian flu discovery in Alberta flocks.
“Albertans can be assured there is no risk to food safety and the risk to human health is extremely low,” he said. “The quick discovery of these cases is a testament to the effectiveness of our disease surveillance and response system and the commitment of our poultry producers.”
For poultry producers and owners with backyard flocks or pet birds, the CFIA website contains resources on avian biosecurity measures under the Response to detections of highly pathogenic avian influenza (H5N1) in Canada 2021-2022.
Kneehill County will continue providing updates for informational purposes as they become available and is not otherwise directly involved in the process. Any questions should be directed to the CFIA and their appointed spokespeople as the situation evolves.
“This case is an important reminder of the importance of strict biosecurity measures and early detection. Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) is a reportable disease, so if you suspect or confirm a case in your flock, you are required to report it to the CFIA or the Office of the Chief Provincial Veterinarian,” said Horner. “This is an incredibly difficult time for the affected producers. We appreciate the steady support of all stakeholders as we continue working together to resolve this issue.”