Protect your flock from bird flu
Response to detections of avian influenza (H5N1) in Canada
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is currently responding to cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza (H5N1) in poultry flocks and small flocks across Canada.
Restriction on imports of live birds, bird products and by-products
Restriction on imports of live birds, bird products and by-products from states affected by Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in the United States
Avian influenza, known as "bird flu," is a viral infection that spreads easily and quickly among birds. Parts of North America, Europe, Asia and Africa are currently seeing bird flu outbreaks.
Your small flocks and pet birds could be at risk of catching bird flu when wild birds migrate to and through Canada in the spring and fall months, as wild birds naturally carry influenza viruses.
Now is the time to review your preventative measures to keep your birds healthy, especially if you have a chicken coop or keep pet birds outside. Simple, inexpensive practices can be very effective at keeping this serious disease away from your birds.
protect your flock from disease If you think your birds are infected If you spot a sick or dead wild bird Additional
How your chickens, pet birds and other flocks can get sick
Your chickens, pet birds and other flocks could be at risk of catching bird flu when they have access to the outdoors. Infected wild birds, such as ducks and geese, can spread the disease by direct contact with your birds or by contaminating your birds' environment. This includes ponds and other bodies of water. There is currently no treatment for infected birds.
On rare occasions, some subtypes of the virus can cause illness in humans. Though the risk of transmission is generally low, people working with poultry who suspect bird flu should:
- report this to their veterinarian or the CFIA, and
- practice biosecurity: wear protective clothing (for example, face masks, goggles, gloves and boots)
Health Canada has more information about human health issues related to bird flu as well as symptoms and treatment.
Learn more about bird flu and pets.
Signs of bird flu
Infected birds may show one or many of these signs:
- lack of energy, movement or appetite
- decreased egg production
- swelling around the head, neck and eyes
- coughing, gasping for air or sneezing
- nervous signs, tremors or lack of coordination
- sudden death
Learn more about bird flu.
How to avoid bird flu and protect your flock from disease
You can help protect your birds by following these 5 basic biosecurity rules:
- prevent contact with wild birds and other animals
- frequently clean poultry coops, waterers, feeders, your clothing and your boots
- spot the signs and report early
- limit exposure to visitors
- keep new birds separate when entering your flock
Learn more about preventing and detecting bird flu in small flocks and pet birds.
If you think your birds are infected
Bird owners are legally responsible to notify authorities of serious bird diseases such as bird flu. Call a veterinarian or your nearest Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) Animal Health office if you suspect your birds have bird flu.
Find out what to expect if your animals are infected.
If you spot a sick or dead wild bird
Anyone who finds a sick or dead wild bird is encouraged to contact the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative (CWHC).
Be prepared to submit details like where you found the bird or discuss options for carcass submission to allow them to gather information about the health of wild populations.
Report sick or dead wild birds to CWHC.
Keep your birds safe
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