Preliminary tests of samples from eight Canadian poultry farms that imported live ducks and eggs from France have found no sign of the dangerous H5N1 strain of bird flu, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) said Thursday.
CFIA announced on Wednesday that the farms in Quebec province had been put under quarantine and samples had been taken to test for H5N1 virus after the lethal strain was found on a French turkey farm.
Alain Charette, agency spokesman, said on Thursday that preliminary tests had shown negative results from four of the eight farms. Tests from the other four are yet to be completed.
"Preliminary results to date are all negative. There has been no indication of illness in these birds to date," he said.
Any hatching eggs or birds from France go into a 30-day quarantine automatically, as "a standard practice for most animal imports" for many years, the spokesman added.
As an extra precaution the CFIA is monitoring the health status of these birds on a daily basis, and they are being tested, Charette said.
Following France's confirmation that one of its turkey farms was infected with the lethal H5N1 virus on Feb. 25, Canada has banned all live bird imports from France as well as poultry products that have not been heat processed.
Canada's poultry industry has been affected by a different strain to H5N1. In November 2005, a duck farm in British Colombia was found to be infected with H5N2 virus.