A couple of chickens feed on a hobby farm in Maple Ridge, B.C., Monday, Apr. 5, 2004. About 19 million chickens and turkeys throughout the Fraser Valley of southern British Columbia will be killed in a bid to wipe out contagious avian flu. (CP PHOTO/Richard Lam)

A couple of chickens feed on a hobby farm in Maple Ridge, B.C., Monday, Apr. 5, 2004. About 19 million chickens and turkeys throughout the Fraser Valley of southern British Columbia will be killed in a bid to wipe out contagious avian flu. (CP PHOTO/Richard Lam)

Avian flu outbreaks confirmed on B.C., Alberta farms after brief pause in cases

VANCOUVER — The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is reporting more outbreaks of avian flu in British Columbia and Alberta.

After a succession of outbreaks of the highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza virus in both provinces during April and May, the agency website shows a reprieve of about 10 days at the end of last month.

But the agency now confirms outbreaks in early June in small flocks in three widely separated B.C. farms in Peace River, Sechelt and Summerland, bringing the total number of infected farms in the province to 15.

Outbreaks on June 2 have also been confirmed in two small flocks in Alberta, pushing the total number of cases there to 31 since a commercial poultry flock was infected on April 6.

The CFIA says all affected flocks in both provinces have been placed under quarantine and producers within a 10-kilometre radius have been notified.

Officials suspect migrating birds are responsible for the global outbreak and poultry farmers everywhere are urged to maintain stringent infection control as well as keep their flocks separate from wild birds and away from water sources used by migrating fowl.