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Quebec duck farm says it must kill 150,000 birds and lay off 300 workers due to bird flu

A Quebec duck farm that has detected avian flu in three of its facilities says it has to cull 150,000 birds and lay off nearly 300 employees.

Angela Anderson of Brome Lake Ducks says it will likely take six to 12 months and possibly several million dollars to fully restore operations.

She said in an interview today that one of the facilities affected by the H5N1 flu contained the company’s entire breeding stock, including 400,000 Pekin duck eggs that were destroyed.

Once birds in the pipeline from unaffected facilities are processed, she says the company will have to lay off staff because no more ducks will come in.

University of Montreal veterinarian Jean-Pierre Vaillancourt says the highly pathogenic H5N1 avian flu is the most at-risk strain Quebec farmers have ever faced.

He said while it doesn’t pose much of a risk to humans, it is so contagious that all animals on an infected farm must be destroyed on the spot to prevent it from spreading.

— This report from The Canadian Press was first published on April 20, 2022.