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Comingling Events -- Avian Influenza policy update for Ontario Canada September 23 to October 22, 2022


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There's a significant announcement from Ontario's Chief Veterinarian which has already caused the cancellation of two events I'm aware of.

Requirements of the Chief Veterinarian for Ontario pursuant to a Minister's Order made under section 24 of the Animal Health Act, 2009
Effective September 23, 2022
Animal Health Control Area - High Pathogenic Avian Influenza subtype H1N1
For purpose of complying with these requirements, the following words shall have the following meanings:
"Birds" includes all living members of the class Aves
"Commingling Event" means any of the following:
  • bird shows;
    • Bird Buy Sell Trade (BST) events, sales or swaps which are locations where birds from multiple locations are brought together and may be exchanged or purchased;
    • the portion of any agricultural or other fair where birds are exhibited;
    • a site where birds from multiple locations are brought together for the purpose of sport;
    • a site where birds are brought from multiple locations for the purpose of education (but does not include the place where the birds are commonly housed)
    • vaccination gatherings (bringing birds from multiple sources to a single premises for vaccination).
    • transport of birds via broker-transporters to attend the events described in clauses (a)-(f).
But does not include:
  • normal business carried out at:
    • a slaughter plant operating in accordance with the Food Safety and Quality Act, 2001 or the operator of an establishment identified in a licence that is issued under the Safe Food for Canadians Act (Canada) that authorizes the slaughter of food animals under that Act
      • a registered research facility or a licenced supply facility under the Animals for Research Act
      • a wildlife rehabilitation centre or other similar facility where the protected wildlife are kept in captivity pursuant to a wildlife custodian authorization issued under the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, 1997
      • an entity prescribed under subsection 6(1) of Ontario Regulation 447/19 (Ministerial Prescriptions) under the Provincial Animal Welfare Services Act, 2019 and any other entity that provides animal sheltering services
      • any site or location where activities may be undertaken by a poundkeeper under the Pounds Act
      • pet stores or other permanent retail locations where birds may be bought, sold or traded
      • retail outlets and similar places that sell or distribute live chicks (i.e., the young or juvenile life stage of the domestic hen)
      • an accredited veterinary facility under the Veterinarians Act.
      • zoos and similar animal experience businesses at the location where the birds are permanently housed
      • any activity where a person is lawfully exercising existing aboriginal or treaty rights
"Minister's Order" means the Minister's Order dated September 23, 2022 and effective September 23, 2022 issued on the advice of the Chief Veterinarian for Ontario under section 24 of the Animal Health Act, 2009.
Requirement to Comply with Order
Pursuant to section 24 of the Animal Health Act, 2009, all persons in the AHCA or affected by the order shall comply with the Order and the requirements of the Chief Veterinarian for Ontario and, if requested to do so, shall provide proof of such compliance.
  • Restriction on transportation and movement and precautionary and biosecurity measures in the Animal Health Control Area
    • No person shall run, host, or hold a commingling event while the Minister's Order is in effect.
      • No Person shall move birds to a commingling event while the Minister's Order is in effect
These requirements are in effect as of the date set out above and shall continue in effect until October 22, 2022.
In the event of a conflict between this Order and an order made by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency ("CFIA") under the Health of Animals Act (Canada), the order made by the CFIA governs.
Digitally signed by:
Cathy Furness
Chief Veterinarian for Ontario
Date: 2022-09-23
For more information:
Toll Free: 1-877-424-1300
I'm not certain, but I suspect there's a typo in that announcement where it refers to H1N1 rather than H5N1.

I say this because their earlier recommendation against comingling was triggered by an H5N1 outbreak.

On September 17, 2022, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) confirmed the presence of H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in a commercial flock located in the Township of Zorra, Ontario. Since then, four additional outbreaks have been reported - three in small flocks in Grey County, Haldimand County and Niagara Region and another in Zorra Township with a mixture of domestic and wild birds.


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Thank you for sharing this with us.