Don't feed the birds: B.C. SPCA says stay vigilant against bird flu | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Don't feed the birds: B.C. SPCA says stay vigilant against bird flu

FILE PHOTO - This bird was spotted at a feeder in Logan Lake.
Image Credit: Loekie Van Der Wal

With cases of bird influenza increasing across the province, the B.C. SPCA is warning residents to keep feeders down.

The most recent cases of bird flu have been reported in Ontario, Oct. 16, according to a national aviation influenza tracker.

Cases were also recorded in September among water fowl in the Lower Mainland. In the Interior, the last reported cases were north of Armstrong in August among wild fowl and northeast of Merritt.

“Unfortunately, avian influenza is still a cause for concern, as there has been an increase in cases likely associated with the fall migration season. Our advice is to continue to keep feeders down in an effort to discourage unnatural congregations of birds and help prevent the spread of the disease,” said Andrea Wallace, manager of animal welfare with the SPCA, via email.

Last July, the B.C. SPCA first asked residents to remove feeders due to a bird flu outbreak in species including but not limited to: great horned owls, bald eagles, great blue herons, ducks and geese and even crows.

Last spring, thousands of birds in B.C. were impacted, including at Interior poultry facilities.

In other countries, the U.K. is currently facing its worst ever outbreak of bird flu.

British authorities said today that all poultry and other captive birds in England must be kept indoors after bird flu was detected in dozens of farms across the country, as well as in wild birds.

READ MORE: UK orders all England's poultry kept in to fight bird flu

The outbreak has led to concerns about the supply of turkeys for the Christmas season.

Earlier this week, the U.K. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs announced that turkey, geese or duck farmers can slaughter their flocks early, freeze then defrost them to be sold for Christmas to help ease the impact of the outbreak on their businesses.

- With files from The Associated Press

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