The number of poultry operations impacted by Avian Influenza (AI) has increased on the Prairies.

In Alberta, there are now 17 operations impacted by AI with new cases being reported in a small flock in Sturgeon Country, and in poultry flocks in Kneehill, Wetaskiwin, Rocky View, and Camrose Counties.

The CFIA has confirmed three new operations in Saskatchewan have been impacted including the RM of Loreburn, the RM of Morse, and the RM of Carmichael, which brings the provincial total to five.

The CFIA's website says in Manitoba the disease was confirmed last Saturday in a commercial poultry flock in the Rural Municipality of Whitemouth.

Lisa Bishop-Spencer, director of Brand and Communications issued the following statement.

"Within that 10-km zone, anything that needs to come into that zone for the purposes of poultry and eggs will have to be permitted. Anybody delivering feed onto a farm within that zone will have to have a permit to move in and out of that region.

"In addition to that, farmers are working hard on the farm and within that three-km zone around the index farm. They're going to be doing things like sanitizing vehicle tires and wheel wells as they enter and exit the property.

"Changing foot attire when visiting the premises and then again if they have to go into the barn at all. Things like limiting visitation to appointment only and tracking who comes on to the property."

She says Health Canada has been definitive that this not a food safety issue, rather a flock health issue.

Bishop-Spencer commented on what will happen to the infected barn.

"That barn will be ordered depopulated by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, and then we will do our very best at that point. If it's in a barn, we try to keep it in the barn and if it's out, keep it out."

Bishop-Spencer notes producers should not be alarmed, but should be on alert and increase biosecurity around all properties. She adds they are not seeing a lot of lateral spread from farm to farm, which is good news and reminds people to keep an eye on wild birds in the area.