Officials are warning about several wild birds found dead - including bald eagles - that have tested positive for avian flu. (Black Press file photo)

Officials are warning about several wild birds found dead - including bald eagles - that have tested positive for avian flu. (Black Press file photo)

Avian flu confirmed in bald eagle found in Lac la Hache

Several wild birds across the province tested positive for H5N1 virus

A bald eagle found dead in Lac La Hache last month has tested positive for avian influenza, according to the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture and Food.

In a release Saturday, the ministry said the eagle was among seven wild birds that had died between April 20 and 27 to test positive for H5 strains of the bird flu.

In addition to the eagle found in the South Cariboo, three snow geese and one Canada goose were found dead near Vanderhoof, and two other bald eagles were found on Bowen Island and in Vancouver.

The latest findings were reported through the province’s wild bird mortality surveillance program, which collects samples from dead birds as well as wetlands around B.C.

A small poultry flock in the Regional District of Central Kootenay has also tested positive for the virus.

“B.C.’s Ministry of Agriculture and Food continues to work closely with the CFIA and B.C. poultry producers to ensure enhanced prevention and preparedness measures are in place to protect poultry flocks in B.C.,” the ministry release states.

Small or backyard flocks also need to be protected, according to the ministry, who said that measures include preventing flocks from encountering wild birds, reducing human access and increased cleaning and sanitation.



melissa.smalley@100milefreepress.net

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