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Small flock owners get advice on avian flu at Kelowna, B.C. workshop

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Small flock owners learn about avian flu at Kelowna workshop
Small flock owners learn about avian flu at Kelowna workshop – Sep 29, 2022

After a summer lull, bird migrations are expected to mean a resurgence of avian flu this autumn.

Since last April, when the illness was detected in a commercial poultry flock in the North Okanagan, domestic birds at 22 different sites around B.C. have tested positive for highly pathogenic avian flu.

Read more: Avian flu outbreak confirmed in the North Okanagan, investigation continues

In one of the most recent cases O’Keefe Ranch in Spallumcheen had to cull its entire flock.

So the provincial Ministry of Agriculture is holding workshops for small flock owners around the province to get the message out about the illness and how to protect domestic birds.

Read more: Avian Flu outbreak declared at O’Keefe Ranch in Spallumcheen

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On Thursday, the ministry held an event in Kelowna.

“We want people to understand that there are things they can do to protect their birds, to recognize the clinical signs, [and] to be able to report to the proper agencies should they suspect they may have it,” said Victoria Bowes, an avian pathologist with the Ministry of Agriculture.

Bowes said compared to the communication available for the commercial poultry industry, there hasn’t been much information targeted to small flock owners about the outbreak.

“We really wanted to bring the small flock producers together to know they are part of this outbreak, that they are definitely part of the detections that we are getting on quite a regular basis,” said Bowes.

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