A small H5 find doesn’t justify a poultry lockdown, say Canadian farmer

23-06-2006 | |

A free-range poultry farmer on Prince Edward Island, Canada, criticised an official suggestion that the H5 bird flu find in West Prince warranted the placing of all poultry indoors.

Raymond Loo, who raised free-range poultry in Queens County, said “I think because we have a couple of goslings that got sick up west with avian flu, it would be a shame if they decided to…. you know impose some kind of real strict rules on PEI”.

The H5 bird flu virus was found in a backyard flock of poultry in West Prince, four goslings out of a flock of 40 were infected. The exact strain of the virus has yet to be established but Canadian officials do not believe it to be the deadly H5N1 strain.

And following the discovery, Dr Jim Clark, head of the avian influenza working group for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, the H5 find is a good lesson for anyone who keeps poultry. Adding that poultry should be kept in a locked-down barn, with strict rules on who goes in and out.

However, Loo maintains that keeping his flock outside produces a healthier product and consumers should have the option to choose what type of poultry they want to buy.

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