The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has declared an avian flu outbreak in North Cowichan.
The outbreak was detected on Sept. 27 in a small flock of poultry.
The Ministry of Agriculture is asking owners of small or backyard flocks to take measures to prevent their birds from coming into contact with wild birds, reduce human access to the flock and increase cleaning, disinfection and sanitization of all items when entering areas where flocks are housed.
According to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, signs of avian flu include:
- a drop in production of eggs, many of which are soft-shelled or shell-less
- haemorrhages on the hock
- high and sudden mortality rate
- quietness and extreme depression
- swelling of the skin under the eyes
- wattles and combs become swollen and congested
Sightings of sick or dead wild birds should be reported to Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative (CWHC) at 1-800-567-2033.
In B.C., there are currently 14 infected premises, according to the CFIA, and eight previously infected premises. There are an estimated 230,000 impacted birds in the province.