Public Asked To Report Dead Wild Birds

Archived Release

Public Asked To Report Dead Wild Birds

Data Will Help With Avian Influenza Surveillance Efforts Office of the Chief Veterinarian for Ontario Infosheet TORONTO, Nov. 7 - Once again this year, Ontario is taking part in a national project involving dead wild birds. This project will help Ontario address the risk of avian influenza. To be successful, we need you to report any dead wild birds that you may see. Here's what we need you to do: If you notice dead wild birds - particularly waterfowl such as ducks, geese and swans or significant numbers of dead birds in one location - please contact the Canadian Cooperative Wildlife Health Centre (CCWHC) at 1-866-673-4781. Do not handle any dead wild birds with your bare hands. Here's why we need your help: Canada is monitoring the many strains of avian influenza that are naturally present in wild bird populations. One way this is tracked is through the collection and testing of dead birds. This method is only successful if there is a significant level of public participation and awareness. To date, no influenza viruses of public health concern have been detected in Ontario in wild or domestic birds. However, it is important to continue testing wild birds to help better understand avian influenza viruses. Information gained through the national wild bird survey is helping Canadian animal health experts better understand the influenza viruses present in resident and migratory bird populations. In certain situations, testing of wild birds can provide an early warning system for viruses of concern to domestic poultry health. For more information on avian influenza, visit www.ontario.ca/birdflu.For further information: Media Contact: Brent Ross, (416) 326-9342; Agricultural Information Contact Centre: 1-877-424-1300, E-mail: ag.info.omafra@ontario.ca; Northern Ontario Regional Office: 1-800-461-6132, www.ontario.ca/omafra