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Group of dead geese in GTA test positive for bird flu
March 31, 2023
Lucas Casaletto

Another group of dead geese in the GTA tested positive for bird flu, known as Avian Influenza.

The Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative confirmed on Thursday that Avian Influenza is the cause of death of waterfowl found in a stormwater pond in Bolton two weeks ago.

“While Avian Influenza is a threat to birds, the risk to humans is very low. Most human avian flu cases have been traced to handling infected poultry or their droppings,” said Dr. Nicholas Brandon, Acting Medical Officer of Health at Peel Public Health.

“Residents are asked to follow the recommended guidelines to limit the spread of avian flu and protect the health and safety of residents and pets.”

Two weeks ago, officials in Brampton confirmed dead waterfowl were found in the areas of Professor’s Lake and Duncan Valley Foster South.

The City of Vaughan later confirmed with CityNews that animal services responded to a distressed wildlife call at Toll Bar Park on Friday around 1 p.m. on March 17.

A spokesperson said eight geese were found dead, and one goose was severely ill and humanely euthanized. All the geese are presumed to have bird flu.

Public health officials are urging pet owners to keep their animals away from sick or dead wildlife and be kept on leashes. To help stop the potential spread, Caledon Animal Services is discouraging the use of bird feeders and birdbaths.

In a statement from the Feather Board Command Centre, which represents Ontario’s poultry commodity boards, Incident Commander Dr. Harold Kloeze suggests there is no food safety risk and Canadian poultry products are safe for human consumption.

Avian flu is a viral infection that spreads among birds. According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, wild birds in Canada and around the world are natural carriers of avian influenza viruses.

Avian Influenza can spread to domestic chickens and sometimes to mammals, including foxes, skunks and mink, who may eat infected birds.