Federal regulators decide to kill 60,000 birds in Abbotsford after outbreak of avian flu

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency announced today that it has begun euthanizing 60,000 birds at a commercial poultry operation in southern B.C.

The H5 avian influenza virus was detected at  E&H Farms in Abbotsford last week.

"Humans are rarely affected by avian influenza, except in a limited number of cases when individuals were in close contact with infected birds,"  a CFIA news release states. "Nevertheless, public health authorities will take precautionary measures as warranted."

The   CFIA is using carbon dioxide gas to kill the birds. Federal and provincial animal welfare experts are observing the euthanization program.

The CFIA will compensate producers for the market value and disposal costs of all the birds killed as part of the investigation, as well as any costs the producer may incur associated with disposal.

"Twenty-three other poultry operations within the three-kilometre radius around the infected farm remain under quarantine and are being closely monitored for signs of illness," the CFIA stated.

One other farm outside of the three-kilometre radius is under quarantine and will be tested for avian influenza.