Flu Advice for Backyard Swine and Poultry Owners

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 Pandemic H1N1 influenza is a mild disease in most people, pigs and turkeys. It can spread from people to people, and occasionally from people to pigs, people to turkeys, as well as from pigs to people. Theoretically it is possible for it pass from people to chickens and vice versa. The disease is generally mild, with limited spread from animals to people and so current CFIA policy is that animals positive for H1N1 are NOT quarantined. Farmers are expected to handle an outbreak of pandemic H1N1 in their animals as they would for any other influenza virus.

To protect your animals, do not allow people who are experiencing flu symptoms to enter your swine or poultry barn for seven days after symptoms have disappeared. Also follow other biosecurity procedures designed to reduce the chances of your animals becoming sick.

If you own pigs or poultry, please watch your animals closely for clinical signs of influenza.

Clinical signs of swine influenza in pigs include:

  • fever
  • depression
  • lack of appetite
  • coughing
  • other signs of upper respiratory tract infection
  • Sows may experience anorexia or abortions.
Clinical signs of influenza in poultry include:
  • lack of appetite
  • decreased egg production, soft shelled or shell-less eggs
  • discharge from the eyes and nostrils
  • swollen sinuses
  • other signs of upper respiratory tract infection
Symptoms may vary from mild to severe. If your animals show these signs, call your veterinarian immediately.

NOTE: Swine influenza is a notifiable disease in the province and any person that knows of or suspects swine influenza in a herd must report this to the Office of the Chief Provincial Veterinarian within 24 hours by calling 780-427-3448 (toll free by first dialling 310-0000) during office hours or 1-800-524-0051 after hours. Under the Alberta Animal Health Act, information is collected to monitor the amount and severity of disease. No other action is taken for notifiable diseases.
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For more information about the content of this document, contact Chunu Mainali.
This document is maintained by Joan St. Amand.
This information published to the web on May 6, 2009.
Last Reviewed/Revised on May 22, 2014.