Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters

Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters

November 02, 2005 13:20 ET

O.F.A.H. responds to news of avian flu in wild birds

Attention: Environment Editor, Health/Medical Editor, News Editor, Science Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 2, 2005) - Many Ontario residents, both hunters and nonhunters alike, were alarmed by the recent news that avian flu has been detected in 28 wild birds in Quebec and 5 in Manitoba during a survey conducted by the Canadian Co-operative Wildlife Health Centre in cooperation with federal and provincial governments. The survey was initiated after an outbreak of avian flu in poultry in B.C.'s Fraser Valley in 2004.

The strain of avian flu that was discovered in these wild birds is not new, and in fact, has been present for decades. It is also important to note that, according to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Health Canada and the Canadian Wildlife Service, there has never been a case of avian flu that has been passed on to humans by wild birds. However, in order to be certain that the flu is not the virulent H5N1 strain that has made recent media headlines around the world, federal authorities are conducting further testing in order to rule this out.

"All of the available evidence indicates that this is not a cause for concern, but an awareness of safety measures that hunters, or anyone else coming in contact with wild birds, should use is probably sensible and recommended," said Dr. Terry Quinney, O.F.A.H. Provincial Manager of Fish & Wildlife Services. "This includes following routine hand washing and safe food preparation practices, disinfecting surfaces after use, being careful to avoid cross-contamination with other food sources, and thoroughly cooking all wild birds prior to consumption. Following these steps is a good practice at all times when hunters are dealing with wildlife."

The Canadian Wildlife Service and other government agencies are currently preparing a series of questions and answers for anyone concerned about this occurrence, which will also be posted at www.ofah.org as soon as it is available.
/For further information: Dr. Terry Quinney
O.F.A.H. Provincial Manager, Fish and Wildlife Services

Contact Information

  • Robert J. Pye, Communications Coordinator/Corporate Messaging, Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters
    Primary Phone: 705-748-6324 ext. 267
    E-mail: robert_pye@ofah.org