Birds sit on a log in Williams Lake at sunset. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency noted HPAI has been detected in a small non-poultry flock the Cariboo, however, it did not say exactly where in the region. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Birds sit on a log in Williams Lake at sunset. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency noted HPAI has been detected in a small non-poultry flock the Cariboo, however, it did not say exactly where in the region. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Avian flu detected in small flock of non-poultry birds in Cariboo

In B.C., 183,000 birds have been impacted by HPAI

Laboratory testing has confirmed the bird flu, H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), has been detected in the Cariboo recently.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) noted on Sept. 15 that HPAI was confirmed in a small flock of non-poultry in the region, though it did not list where exactly in the area.

In Canada to date, Alberta has been hit hardest by HPAI with 1,075,000 birds impacted, followed by Ontario, Quebec and Saskatchewan. In B.C., 183,000 birds have been impacted by HPAI.

Anyone with birds is urged to practice enhanced bio-security procedures to help stop the spread of HPAI.

Dead, injured, or sick birds should not be touched and should be immediately reported to the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative information line at 1-800-567-2033 or the B.C. Wild Bird Mortality Investigation Program hotline at 1-866-431-2473.

In the spring of 2022, a pelican at Alkali Lake tested positive for HPAI while the province also received reports of sick pelicans at Williams Lake, Alkali, Puntzi and Bouchie lakes.

Read More: Remove home bird feeders, empty bird baths to stop avian flu, BC SPCA asks


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