Saskatchewan

2nd Saskatchewan farm under quarantine over avian flu worries

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has put another Saskatchewan chicken farm under quarantine, but says the move is only a precautionary measure.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has put another Saskatchewan chicken farm under quarantine, but says the move is only a precautionary measure.

The small farm affected by the decisionon Friday is less than three kilometres away from Pedigree Poultry, a much larger operation just north of Regina, where officials confirmed on Thursdaythey had found a strain of avian influenza.

The CFIA said the quarantine measures are standard given the close proximity of the two farms. It saidthe 20 chickens tested on what the agency calls a "small backyard operation" have shown no signs of disease.

More than 50,000 chickens at thePedigree Poultry operation near Regina Beach were to be killed and all equipmentthoroughly sanitized.

The H7N3 strain of influenza is fatal to birds, but isn't a danger to human health, and it's not expected to have much of an economic impact, according to Lisa Bishop Spencer of the Chicken Farmers of Canada.

She says much has changed since Canada had its last case of avian flu three years ago in British Columbia, where the virus swept through a number of farms, and that industry and government have developed a system to respond quickly to any future outbreaks.

She says she's confident the virus in Saskatchewan will be contained to the large commercial farm and that there will be little economic fallout, even if other countries close their borders.

"We export roughly 7.5 per cent of what we produce here in Canada," she told CBC News.

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