Animal health control order extended until mid-June

The Animal Health Control Zone Order for poultry in Saskatchewan has been extended by the province’s Chief Veterinarian.

The order, originally implemented on April 14, was due to expire on Saturday. The ordinance prohibits the movement and participation of birds in exhibitions, auctions and agricultural fairs, as well as any other event where birds are gathered from several places. The order was put in place because of the risk of highly pathogenic avian influenza, or HPAI.

HPAI was first confirmed in a poultry farm in Saskatchewan in mid-April, and the province has continued to see outbreaks in commercial and backyard flocks. The main source of HPAI is wild birds, and the risk of disease spread is expected to remain high throughout the migration season.

In a statement released on Friday, poultry producers and owners of small flocks were reminded to follow all necessary biosecurity protocols to protect their flocks from disease. Those with small flocks are advised to confine their birds indoors, if possible, during the migration season. Anyone concerned about the health of their herd should contact their veterinarian immediately, and if HPAI is suspected, they should also contact their local Canadian Food Inspection Agency office.

The order has now been extended until June 14.

Boyd S. Abbott