The Canadian Wildlife Service has recently detected Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (also known as “bird flu”), subtype H5N1, in wild birds in all Atlantic Canadian provinces.
Avian influenza is a highly contagious viral disease that affects a variety of bird species, including waterfowl, birds of prey, songbirds, and poultry. There are several different avian influenza strains, ranging from those causing mild or no clinical signs (low pathogenicity), to those causing severe clinical signs and high mortality rates (highly pathogenic). Wild birds, particularly waterfowl, are the natural reservoirs for all strains of avian influenza viruses and play an important role in the maintenance and spread. As such, all efforts should be taken to minimize exposure to sick, injured, or deceased wild birds.
Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza has been detected in New Brunswick wild birds, therefore the Department of Natural Resources and Energy Development is urging the public to remain vigilant and to report sick, dead, or dying birds to our toll free number, 1-833-301-0334.
For more information on bird handling guidelines and food safety for members of the public, including hunters, bird banders, aviculturalists, and wildlife rehabilitation centers please visit the following Public Health Agency of Canada website.