The B.C. government announced $300-thousand dollars in new funding for avian flu prevention.
Minister of Agriculture Norm Letnick said the money would be used to support a pilot research project that tests for flu in the wild duck population.
“If we can get an early detection of the AI, then that helps us inform the poultry industry to beef up – no pun intended – their surveillance and security measures.”
The announcement comes in conjunction with an in-depth investigation by the Vancouver Sun.
It found multiple biosecurity breaches in Fraser Valley poultry farms like rodent infestations and improper disposal of dead birds.
Letnick defended the industry.
“It was a tough year of course for all British Columbians to see, but particularly devastating for the farmers involved. But they really worked well, they acted quickly and very well last year under trying circumstances.”
Avian flu was found in a wild duck in the Fraser Valley in late November, but Letnick says there have been no reports of infections in commercial farms this fall.