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Avian flu detected in Vanderhoof geese

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The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says four geese that died in the Vanderhoof area tested positive for avian flu.

The agency says seven wild birds that died between April 20 and 27 are confirmed to have had the H5 strains of the virus.

They include three snow geese and one Canada goose in the Vanderhoof area, and individual bald eagles from Lac la Hache, Bowen Island and Vancouver. These cases follow a similar finding in a bald eagle in Delta this month, and one in Vancouver in February.

The findings were reported through B.C.’s wild bird mortality surveillance program which gathers samples from sick and dead birds, as well as sediment samples from wetlands on which the birds gather.

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The food agency also confirms that a small poultry flock in the Regional District of Central Kootenay has tested positive for the highly pathogenic H5N1 virus.

They did not give the exact location but say the infected premises has been placed under quarantine and the Ministry of Agriculture has notified producers within a 12-kilometre radius of the positive test results.

The ministry says it continues to work closely with the CFIA and B.C. poultry producers to ensure enhanced prevention and preparedness measures are in place to protect poultry flocks in B.C.

Owners of small or backyard flocks are urged to continue to be vigilant and have appropriate preventative measures in place.

Measures include eliminating or reducing opportunities for poultry to encounter wild birds, reducing human access to the flock, and increased cleaning, disinfection and sanitization of all things (including clothing and footwear) when entering areas where flocks are housed.

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