An animal health order has been issued by the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture’s chief veterinary officer after several cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza (bird flu) were confirmed in the province.
The order limits the transport and comingling of poultry and will be in effect until Oct. 21 before being reviewed.
“The order prohibits the movement to and participation of birds in shows, auctions, and agricultural fairs, as well as any other events where birds would be brought together from multiple locations,” the province said in a release.
In April, bird flu was detected in Saskatchewan for the first time in 15 years.
The virus commonly affects food-producing birds such as chickens, turkeys, geese, ducks and quails as well as pet and wild birds.
Preventing contact between poultry and wild birds, limiting visitors to barns, using barn-specific clothing and footwear, and regularly monitoring birds for signs of illness, are key to preventing avian influenza on poultry farms, according to the province.
“Although rare, AI can infect humans. Affected people tend to be those who have close contact with infected birds. While birds suspected of having AI should not be used for food to avoid potentially spreading the virus, there are no concerns with eating meat that has been properly cooked,” the province said.
More information is available on the Ministry of Agricultures website.