Fri. Mar 1st, 2024

Un case of avian flu detected in Outaouais surprises and worries local elected officials

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Founded in 1993, Abattoir Charron is a family business located in Saint-André-Avellin.

Radio-Canada

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A case of avian flu was detected in a commercial breeding farm in Saint-André-Avellin, in the MRC of Papineau in Outaouais, according to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). A surprise for the mayor, Jean-René Carrière, who indicates that around thirty people had to be laid off because of this discovery.

According to Mr. Carrière and the prefect of the MRC of Papineau, Benoit Lauzon, the case was detected at Abattoir Charron, a company family founded in 1993.

We are very surprised. We know the company, we know that it is a company that is very careful, that is careful in its procedures, in its protocols, reacted the mayor of Saint-André-Avellin in an interview with Radio-Canada , Saturday morning.

What worries me a little is how it was able to penetrate inside the walls because we know that the protocols put in place – in in any case, from what we hear – are followed to the letter. […] I imagine that there will be an internal investigation to determine the causes.

A quote from Jean-René Carrière, mayor of Saint-André-Avellin

< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">The elected official indicates that he spoke with the owner of the company who told him that from now on a range of procedures must be followed. Around thirty employees had to be laid off while the necessary cleaning was carried out, Mr. Carrière said.

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We know that from the outset it is closed for a few weeks to allow all the procedures, sterilization, cleaning of the place. […] The employees are already notified, according to what [the owner] told me. I don't know what the period he gave is, but it's […] time for the cleaning to be done, explained the mayor, hoping for a resumption of activities as soon as possible. as possible.

At the time of publishing these lines, the company had not responded to interview requests from Radio-Canada and it had therefore not yet been possible to confirm the layoffs reported by Mr. Career.

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Jean-René Carrière, mayor of Saint-André-Avellin (Archive photo)

The CFIA made the information public on January 3. On its website, the Agency indicates that a restriction zone has been set up, covering almost the entire area of ​​La Petite-Nation.

A message was also published on the City's website indicating that the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food of Quebec (MAPAQ) informed the Municipality that a case of highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza has was detected in a commercial breeding farm near the municipality.

As the owner of a backyard or small bird breeder, you should be aware of the risk for your birds of contracting the avian influenza virus is currently high, it is added.

This is the first case detected in Outaouais since the resurgence of avian flu across the country in 2022. Mayor Carrière invites all municipalities to exercise the greatest caution.

We felt spared, we had a feeling of being safe, then we realize that no one is safe. If there are regions that have been spared until now, redouble your efforts, you never know when it will land in your area, he said.

In its message, the Municipality of Saint-André-Avellin reminds some advice and information to owners of farmed birds (New window), the avian influenza virus can endanger farms and represent a risk for certain birds and mammals.

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Benoit Lauzon, mayor of Thurso and prefect of the MRC of Papineau (Photo d 'archives)

The prefect of the MRC of Papineau, Benoit Lauzon, says he is all the more concerned by the presence of several farms, including private ones, in the territory.

We know that there are several citizens today who have chickens at their residence, which is permitted in our municipalities. Having spoken with some of them, they are extremely worried about how they should handle this situation. This is why we absolutely want to speak with [local health authorities] who will give us the right information to tell people how they must protect their animals and protect themselves.

The Quebec Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food recalls that avian flu is rarely transmitted from birds to humans.

If this occurs, the virus usually affects workers in close contact with infected poultry in closed environments, such as farms, slaughterhouses or live poultry markets. No sustained transmission between people is observed.

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The Quebec Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food recalls, however, that avian flu is rarely transmitted from birds to humans. (Archive photo)

So far, no cases of transmission of the disease to humans have been noted in Canada, recalls MAPAQ.

In cases of rare transmission, the symptoms of avian flu in humans are generally similar to those of seasonal flu. In rare cases associated with the H5N1 virus, gastrointestinal symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, may occur. Serious illnesses, such as pneumonia or respiratory failure, have also been reported.

With information from Rebecca Kwan, Maxime Huard and by Olivier Daoust

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