The Ministry of Agriculture and Food will hold three information sessions next week (Oct. 12-14) for small-flock poultry owners on the island, including one in Merville.
Sessions will focus on the avian influenza virus, how owners can protect their flocks, and how to prepare for potential impacts if their birds become sick. They will be led by B.C. government veterinary specialists.
Attendees will learn about:
* improving flock or farm biosecurity to reinforce against disease outbreaks;
* recognizing the signs of avian influenza and how to report cases;
* how foreign animal disease regulations affect small-flock poultry;
* what to expect if a flock is positive for avian influenza; and
* resources available for non-commercial bird owners, including diagnostic services through the BC Animal Health Centre.
The risk of avian influenza to commercial poultry farms and small flocks increases each spring and fall with the migration of waterfowl and other birds to and through B.C.
Attendees will receive a free biosecurity kit containing tools and information to help maintain good biosecurity practices.
The local session is at the Merville Hall, 1245 Fenwick Rd., from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 13.