And bird breeder Canards du Lac-Brome in Quebec, which has detected cases of bird flu at three of its facilities, will have to slaughter 150,000 birds and lay off nearly 300 employees.
It will likely take 6 to 12 months, and possibly several million dollars, for the company to fully restore operations, according to CEO Angela Anderson.
In an interview on Wednesday, Ms.me Anderson said one facility affected by the H5N1 flu contained the company’s entire breeding stock, including 400,000 Peking duck eggs that had to be destroyed.
Once the birds are treated at unaffected facilities, the company will have to lay off employees, as there will be no new ducks.
For veterinarian Jean-Pierre Vilancourt, of the University of Montreal, H5N1 avian influenza is highly contagious and represents the most endangered strain that Quebec farmers have ever encountered.
According to him, although it does not pose a great danger to humans, it is so contagious that all animals on an infected farm must be slaughtered immediately to prevent the spread of the virus.
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