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Bird flu: Protecting birds from the avian influenza virus | What’s the Deal?

November 6, 2019


You have likely noticed the lab coat I am
sporting and given I work at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, that I must
be a scientist. Well truth be told, I’m not. I borrowed it from one of our
highly trained veterinarians. That brings me to my next point: What does the CFIA and these birds have in
common? So, what’s the deal? What I’m talking about is the fact that
wild migratory birds, particularly waterfowl, are potential carriers of the avian influenza
virus. While the viruses do not cause severe illness
in waterfowl, and very rarely in humans, certain strains can cause severe illness and
kill domestic poultry and some wild bird species. In order to protect human and animal health,
we conduct inspections and have monitoring and testing programs in place to prevent and
control the spread of diseases to the livestock and poultry sectors. I’m sensing some concern from our backyard
flock owners out there. Luckily with the right measures in place,
backyard flock owners, commercial producers and bird keepers can ensure their first line
of defence is on the field! And don’t forget, we have tons of valuable
tips on our website at inspection.gc.ca.

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