Avian flu on the rise in Saskatchewan: 'The disease is highly contagious to all birds' - Saskatoon |  Globalnews.ca

Avian flu on the rise in Saskatchewan: ‘The disease is highly contagious to all birds’ – Saskatoon | Globalnews.ca

Bird flu has wiped out poultry in parts of Canada, and Saskatchewan is no different.

It has had a huge impact on the poultry industry with nearly 1.7 million birds affected across the country.

Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister David Marit says the flu is affecting the industry, but it’s doing the best it can.


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Avian influenza outbreak in Canadian farms


Avian influenza outbreak in Canadian farms

“As everyone knows, the poultry industry is a supply management system. The system works across the border in Canada, they are trying to maintain this supply chain across the country.”

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According to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, more than 100,000 birds have contracted the flu in Saskatchewan as of May 5.

This increased risk has led the Saskatoon Zoo to move all captive birds from their enclosures to safer locations, where wild birds cannot be contacted.

“We’ve put our birds out of view and put them in a safer area where they can’t contact any other birds,” Jeff Mitchell, director of the Saskatoon Forestry Park Zoo and director of the zoo, told Global News.

“The flu is very contagious. There is a good chance any bird that catches the flu will have a problem.”


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Meet the Dingo at the Saskatoon Zoo


Getting to know the Dingo at the Saskatoon Zoo – September 19, 2019

A Meewasin spokesperson suggests that walkers avoid manually feeding any of the birds along the trails, especially geese, as they are susceptible to flu, too. There are usually herds of them in close contact with families and children who walk or cycle on the trails in the summer.

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“With bird flu, we want to reduce contact, so we don’t want to feed the birds, especially hand-feeding the birds,” said Jamie Harder, resource management technician at Mowzen.

Influenza is transmitted from an infected bird to a healthy bird through infected saliva or mucus through feeding sites or faeces.

The risk of infection for humans and other animal species is low, but this is possible and has already happened.

Make sure you don’t touch or hold these animals. And if you are, Mitchell said, you wear appropriate protective clothing and keep them away from your children and pets.

The province adds that there is no food safety risk.

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Saskatoon warns residents after positive cases of bird flu appear in birds

Bird flu is a viral infection that has the ability to spread easily and quickly among birds.

Some species of wild birds, such as ducks, can carry the virus and infect other birds without getting sick.

Other bird species are more likely to become severely ill and die when infected with some types of bird flu.

“It is important to note that the public health risk is extremely low and there is no food safety risk,” the city statement said.

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The city is asking residents to help by encouraging them not to hand-feed birds, to temporarily remove bird feeders as it encourages birds to congregate, and not to touch sick or dead birds.

If someone encounters a sick or dead bird, they should notify the Ministry of Environment Inquiry Center at 1-800-567-4224.

– Files by Kelly Skjerven

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.



2022-05-09 18:19:56

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