Canadian Food Inspection Agency

Canadian Food Inspection Agency

November 05, 2014 10:37 ET

Wild Bird Survey is Underway: Canada is Tracking Influenza Viruses Circulating in its Wild Bird Population

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Nov. 5, 2014) - Canadian Food Inspection Agency

The Government of Canada is asking Canadians for help to guard Canada's farmed birds and flocks against the introduction of disease.

Every year live and dead wild birds are tested as part of the Wild Bird Influenza Survey. The survey, in its tenth year, is an important part of Canada's avian influenza prevention and preparedness strategy.

Testing live wild birds enables scientists to identify and watch for changes in viruses circulating in the wild bird population. Testing dead wild birds allows scientists to monitor for the highly pathogenic strains of the influenza virus.

Canadians can help by reporting sightings of dead wild birds to the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative (CWHC) at 1-866-544-4744. While the risk of infection with avian influenza is extremely low, members of the public should avoid handling dead birds.

Quick facts

  • The Inter-Agency Wild Bird Influenza Survey is coordinated by the CWHC on behalf of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, the Public Health Agency of Canada, and Environment Canada, as well as provincial and territorial government partners.

  • The survey is part of a global effort to detect and track avian viruses that could negatively impact human health and animal health.

  • If a virus of concern is detected close to a poultry flock, producers will be alerted and on-farm surveillance will be heightened in the area.

  • Based on current scientific knowledge, the risk of migratory birds carrying deadly influenza viruses to Canada is low.

Additional links

- Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative

- National Biosecurity Standards and Biosecurity Principles

- Notifiable Avian Influenza

Contact Information

  • Media Relations
    Canadian Food Inspection Agency