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STATEMENT BY DR_ JOHN CLIFFORD ON AVIAN INFLUENZA DETECTION IN CANADA

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Karen Eggert (301) 734-7280
Andrea McNally (202) 690-4178

September 27, 2007

“Today, the Canadian Food Inspection Service Agency (CFIA) confirmed that test results from samples collected at a commercial broiler breeder farm in the Saskatchewan Province were positive for a North American strain of an H7N3 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus. The virus detected in Canada is not the HPAI H5N1 virus that has spread through birds in Asia, Europe and Africa.

“In accordance with an agreement between the United States and Canada, USDA is barring imports of all live birds, including chickens, turkeys and others, along with unprocessed avian products from the entire province of Saskatchewan. The United States has not imported poultry products from Saskatchewan since 2005.

“CFIA is beginning depopulation of the infected flock and initiating thorough surveillance in the surrounding area. Canadian officials have assured us they will continue to provide us with detailed information on the epidemiological investigation and surveillance reports.

“We will continue to monitor the situation closely. USDA is conducting surveillance for all strains of avian influenza, in cooperation with states, the Department of the Interior (DOI) and industry. Since March 2006, USDA, DOI and their state partners have collected approximately 175,000 live bird and environmental samples, all of which tested negative for HPAI. In addition, we continue to work closely with our international counterparts to rapidly detect and respond to detections of the virus.”

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