SOUTH GLENGARRY – The Avian Flu, (bird flu) is slowly making itself known throughout Ontario.

As of April 26, there were 19 Avian Flu hotspots in Ontario. The first one discovered on March 27 in Guelph, has been followed by the latest one on April 26 in Huron County.

In Eastern Ontario the latest Avian Flu instance was in a poultry flock in South Glengarry on April 14.

Each area that has found to harbour an infected group of birds, has been placed under quarantine. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency, (CFIA) has established movement control measures and is recommending enhanced biosecurity for other farms within that area.

As the infection moves across the province, an estimated 84,000 birds have been euthanized or have died because of the infection and that number has risen to 260,000 across Canada.

The South Glengarry infected flock is the only one in this part of Eastern Ontario to be discovered.

The Avian Flu is not a concern when it comes to eating poultry or eggs. As long as they are cooked properly there is no concern.

Wild birds, especially waterfowl, is where the infection can be found. These wild birds can spread the influenza to domestic birds but are not affected by it themselves. The disease can spread to birds through contact with infected poultry and poultry products. It can also spread through contaminated manure, litter, clothing, footwear, vehicles, equipment, feed, and water.

The CFIA lists some measures poultry producers should be doing to help stop the spread of the Avian Flu. The CFIA website states: “[It] is essential for commercial poultry producers to use strict biosecurity practices to prevent introduction of the virus to their flock. Farmers should take the following measures:

Keep poultry away from areas frequented by wild birds;

Maintains strict control over access to poultry houses;

Make sure that equipment is cleaned and disinfected before taking it into poultry houses;

Do not keep bird feeders or create duck ponds close to poultry barns because they attract wild birds;

Maintain high sanitation standards.