Town of Caledon testing dead geese found in Bolton for bird flu

Canadian geese sit in Lower Shaker Lake, Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021, in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

The Town of Caledon says it is investigating the potential presence of avian flu in a stormwater pond in Bolton.

In a tweet Friday, the Town said its bylaw team is investigating potential avian flu — known as bird flu —  in a pond in the Coleraine Drive and King Street area.

The Town said it received reports of dead and sick geese near the pond.

“Members of the public, particularly those with pets, should avoid the area as a precaution,” the tweet read.

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In a news release, the Town said resident should start “taking some precautions” while the specimens are being tested at the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative.

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However, the Town said the risk of avian flu spreading to humans is “extremely rare.”

“There are no indicators of increasing risk to the general public at this time,” the release read. “It’s recommended by the Public Health Agency of Canada that members of the public should not handle sick or dead wild birds or other wildlife, as they may be infected with diseases that can spread to humans.”

The Town said pets should be “kept away from sick or dead wildlife” and should be kept on leashes.

“To help stop the potential spread, Caledon Animal Services discourages the use of birdfeeders and recommends removal of existing ones to limit transmission of the virus,” the Town said.

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Cats should be kept indoors, the Town said, adding that birdbaths should be removed.

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“According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, wild birds in Canada and throughout the world are natural carriers of avian influenza viruses,” the Town said. “Although some wild birds may get sick and die, others can be infected and still appear healthy.”

The Town said avian influenza can spread to domestic poultry and can sometimes spread to mammals such as foxes, skunks and mink, who could eat infected birds.

Anyone who sees sick or dead wildlife on public property should call 3-1-1.

“Please do not touch dead or ill wildlife,” the Town said.

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