Canadian Food Inspection Agency

Canadian Food Inspection Agency

June 16, 2006 18:59 ET

CFIA/Governments Respond to Preliminary Finding of Avian Influenza in Backyard Flock in Prince Edward Island

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - June 16, 2006) - As a precautionary measure the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), in collaboration with the Government of Prince Edward Island, has implemented disease control measures in and around a premises in western Prince Edward Island where a young goose in a backyard flock tested positive for an avian influenza virus. It is important to note that this finding does not indicate a new threat to human health.

The virus was determined to be an H5 subtype in testing conducted by the Atlantic Veterinary College laboratory in Charlottetown. The sample has been sent to the National Centre for Foreign Animal Disease (NCFAD) in Winnipeg for further testing to confirm its strain and pathogenicity. The NCFAD is Canada's national reference laboratory for avian influenza. Testing is being conducted on a priority basis, results will be communicated as soon as they are available.

The CFIA's avian influenza response plan for backyard flocks was activated immediately upon confirmation of the H5 virus, including: depopulation of the infected flock, quarantining of the premises and investigation of possible sources of infection. As a precaution, the CFIA is monitoring the health of backyard flocks within 3 km of the infected premises. There are no commercial flocks identified within the 3 km area.

There is no evidence suggesting that the virus found in this circumstance is the H5N1 strain currently in Asia and other countries. That virus is marked by very high mortality in birds, which was not observed in this particular situation.

The CFIA will report new information regarding this situation as it is confirmed. For additional information on avian influenza visit the CFIA website at

Contact Information

  • Canadian Food Inspection Agency
    Media relations
    (613) 228-6682