- Almost 1,000 birds — double the usual amount in a year — have already been tested in 2022.
- Several have washed up on the beach and tested positive for avian flu.
Hundreds of ill and dead birds — and even some fox kits — have been taken to the Atlantic Veterinary College (A.V.C.) in Charlottetown and tested for avian flu this year.
The fakest appear to be waterfowl, including recent hives of gannets and predatory birds, stated Megan Jones, an assistant teacher at A.V.C. and the provincial director of the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative in Atlantic Canada.
She told me 23 birds have tested positive, and 16 others are believed to be positive but are pending verification at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s National Centre for Foreign Animal Disease in Winnipeg. Four fox kits have also had an initial positive test for avian flu.
“When you think of influenza, of course, you think regarding the respiratory illness, but this virus gets into the brain and multiple other organs,” Jones said.
“It’s actually; it’s quiet, quite sad. They can get neurological symptoms so they can have seizures and things. It looks a lot like rabies.”
‘Looks a lot like rabies’
Employees with P.E.I. Fish and Wildlife have been active in responding to calls from the public, Jones stated. They collect the birds and get them to A.V.C. for testing.
A.V.C. has collected “well over 1,000” birds for testing so far in 2022 when they usually would accept up to approximately 600 for a whole year.
Many of the calls come from beachgoers who spotted northern gannets washed up on the shorebirds that have later tested positive for avian flu. Hundreds of the deceased gannets have been seen in the Magdalen Islands and western Newfoundland, and dozens in the Souris region, Jones said.
Source – cbc.ca