Turkeys. (Photo provided by Sergii Kolesnikov/Getty Images Plus vis Getty Images)

Avian virus that kills turkeys hitting Southwestern Ontario

Farms in southwestern Ontario have been hit with a new avian virus strain, a first of its kind in Canada and one that is killing hundreds of turkeys.

Cases of avian metapneumovirus (aMPV) have been confirmed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's National Centre for Foreign Animal Disease.

Also known as Turkey rhinotracheitis, the disease was first detected on a Huron-Kinloss farm in late March, where 87 birds were infected. Another outbreak was reported a few weeks later at a Centre Wellington farm.

According to the World Animal Health Information System the disease which attacks the respiratory system of turkeys, has killed 253 birds so far.

More cases have been identified in the last month, showing up at farms in North Perth, South Huron, Howick, as well as Oxford, Middlesex, and Waterloo Counties.

The CFIA also confirmed an infected poultry premises with aMPV-A in Manitoba.

No control measures are implemented nationally.

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