Notice - Avian Influenza (H5N1) in Ontario

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has confirmed cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza (H5N1) in Ontario.

While the CFIA leads the disease response for highly pathogenic avian influenza, and has imposed permitting requirements in defined areas of the province, I am writing to inform you and your constituents that Ontario is taking action to help limit the spread of the virus in the province.

On the advice and recommendation of the Chief Veterinarian for Ontario, I have issued a Minister’s Order under the Animal Health Act, 2009, for the purpose of limiting the commingling of birds from different locations in Ontario, in order to reduce the likelihood of disease transmission in domestic birds by limiting direct contact. 

Effective April 9, 2022, this Order temporarily prohibits events where birds commingle, such as bird shows, bird sales and swaps, portions of fairs where birds are exhibited, sport and educational displays where birds are brought from multiple locations, vaccination gatherings for birds from multiple locations, and prohibits the movement of birds to those events. Temporarily reducing direct contact between birds from different locations will limit the spread of avian influenza and protect flock health. This Order will expire on May 9, 2022, but may be extended if required. 

Avian influenza subtype H5N1 has been identified in Ontario, and eight other provinces, including Nova Scotia, and Alberta, as well as numerous US states Avian influenza is not a threat to food safety but impacts domesticated and wild birds. Ontario poultry and eggs are safe to eat when, as always, proper handling and cooking takes place. People working with poultry should take additional precautions and are strongly encouraged to follow all public health guidelines and maintain strict biosecurity. 

For further information please see correspondence received from the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

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