Canada detects low pathogenic type of bird flu on duck farm

Fri Jul 8, 2016 1:50pm EDT
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OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian officials have discovered a low pathogenic subtype of H5N2 avian flu on a commercial duck farm and the outbreak poses little risk to human health, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) said on Friday.

Chief CFIA veterinary officer Harpreet Kochhar said all 14,000 birds on the farm near the town of St Catharines in the province of Ontario would be humanely killed and disposed of. The farm is under quarantine.

"Avian influenza does not pose a risk to food safety when poultry and poultry products are properly handled and cooked and rarely affects humans," he said.

CFIA teams have started tracing recent movements of birds and farm equipment onto and off the property.

"As avian influenza is highly contagious among birds, and can spread rapidly, it is possible that additional at-risk farms may be identified in the coming days," said Kochhar.

Last year a strain of the highly pathogenic H5N2 bird flu virus was found on a turkey farm in Ontario, prompting the U.S. Agriculture Department to impose temporary restrictions on imports of poultry from the province.

(Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by James Dalgleish and David Gregorio)