Avian flu response gets $300,000 funding boost from Canada and B.C. governments

The avian flu virus under a microscope. (Wikimedia).

VICTORIA — The federal and British Columbia governments are investing $300,000 to step up avian flu surveillance, early detection and response efforts.

The B.C. Agriculture Ministry says the funding will enhance its Animal Health Centre in Abbotsford with specialized equipment to test sediment samples from ponds and wetlands used by waterfowl.

The ministry says it will also target owners of small poultry flocks by hosting workshops in different regions focusing on poultry health.

The funding will also support a rapid response to any future outbreaks with mobile equipment to help with the humane depopulation of infected flocks.

A case of avian flu was confirmed in B.C.'s Fraser Valley in November after a duck was shot by a hunter, but there have been no reports of infections at commercial farms this fall.

An outbreak that began in December 2014 and infected 11 commercial chicken and turkey farms in the Fraser Valley was declared eradicated in June of this year.

The Canadian Press

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