The animal health control area order for poultry in Saskatchewan has been extended by the province’s Chief Veterinary Officer.

The order, originally implemented on April 14th, was set to expire on Saturday. The order prohibits the movement to and participation of birds in shows, auctions and agricultural fairs, as well as any other events where birds would be brought together from multiple locations. The order was put in place due to the risk of highly pathogenic avian influenza, or HPAI.

HPAI was first confirmed in a poultry flock in Saskatchewan in mid-April, and the province has continued to see outbreaks in commercial and backyard flocks. The primary source of HPAI is linked to wild birds, and the risk of the spread of the disease is expected to remain high throughout the migration season.

In a release issued Friday, poultry producers and small flock owners were reminded to follow all necessary biosecurity protocols to protect their flocks from disease. Those with small flocks are asked to confine their birds indoors, if possible, during migration season. Anyone with concerns about the health status of their flocks should contact their veterinarian immediately, and if HPAI is suspected, they should also contact their local Canadian Food Inspection Agency office.

The order has now been extended to June 14th.