April 7, 2015 / 12:16 AM / 5 years ago

Bird flu confirmed on turkey farm in Woodstock, Ontario

(Reuters) - Preliminary testing by the province of Ontario has confirmed the presence of H5 avian influenza on a turkey farm near Woodstock, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency said on Monday.

The CFIA said it has placed the farm and a neighboring farm on quarantine to control the disease, adding that the industry sector had been notified to adopt biosecurity practices.

The agency said it was conducting further tests to determine the severity of the disease and the subtype and strain of the virus.

Initial tests for the disease were conducted last week after the farm reported sudden deaths of birds over several days.

Avian influenza is an infectious viral disease of birds. Most bird flu viruses do not infect humans or pose a food safety risk when poultry products are properly handled and cooked.

Thousands of turkeys and chickens were killed by avian influenza on two farms in British Columbia, Canada, the CFIA had said last December.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said earlier on Monday that Minnesota, its top turkey-producing state, had found two commercial turkey flocks to be infected with a lethal strain of avian flu.

The CFIA said all birds in the infected zone will be culled.

Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

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