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Friday, September 16, City staff observed birds in the bird sanctuary at Harrison Park exhibiting possible symptoms of Avian Influenza. Laboratory testing is needed to confirm the presence of the Avian Influenza virus. On Monday, September 19, CFIA contacted City staff to confirm positive test results for Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (H5N1) from the sampled domestic species on site. This virus can affect several species of food-producing birds (chickens, turkeys, quails, guinea fowl, etc.), as well as pet and wild birds. 

Parks Staff followed prescribed Federal guidelines and immediately consulted with a local veterinary service and contacted the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).  

CFIA, which is responsible for Avian related responses, attended the site and performed an inspection in accordance with their mandate with respect to diseases of concern.  On the advice of CFIA, staff installed a perimeter fence to eliminate public contact with domestic birds in the flock. The Harrison Park bird sanctuary was placed under a quarantine order.  

City staff will continue to work with and take direction from the CFIA with respect to managing this disease outbreak at Harrison Park.  

The CIFA mandate and quarantine order are limited to domestic species. 

If residents locate a wild bird that is deceased, they are encouraged to report it to the Canadian Wildlife Health Co-operative.  

The Ontario Wildlife Emergency Hotline can also be by phone at 1-800-567-2033. 

To help prevent the spread of Avian Influenza, residents are encouraged to: 

  • Report sick or dead birds to the agencies listed above;
  • Do not touch or feed wild birds by hand;
  • Clean backyard feeders and baths regularly using a weak solution of domestic bleach and water;
  • Separate domestic and wild birds where possible;

Information and links to additional resources are provided below:

Canadian Food Inspection Agency

More information about Avian Influenza

Canadian Wildlife Health Co-operative



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