With geese and migratory birds starting to return to the community, the Township of Uxbridge is aware of cases of birds that have died or are presumed to be infected with avian influenza (H5N1), also known as bird flu.  Township of Uxbridge staff have responded to reports of geese in distress at Elgin Pond. Although avian flu has not  been confirmed, the Municipality is taking precautions consistent with avian flu when managing the situation because avian flu has been detected in neighbouring municipalities.

The Government of Canada recommends a few steps residents can take to reduce the spread of Avian Flu in migratory birds:

  • Keep a distance from wild birds and other wild animals, and don't touch, feed or handle them, especially if they look sick or are dead.
  • The public is asked to report any animals, specifically geese or birds, found in distress, ill or dead to Uxbridge-Scugog Animal Control. You can reach them at animalcontrol@uxbridge.ca or 905-985-9547. If you are calling after hours please follow instructions on the answering machine to contact an officer. The Township will report the cases to the  Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative.
  • Consider removing backyard bird feeders and/or bird baths, and if this is not possible, move them far away from pets and clean them with 10% bleach at least once every two weeks. If sick birds are observed near feeders then the feeders should be removed.
  • Avoid contact with surfaces that appear to be contaminated with droppings from birds
  • Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water after touching any bird feeders, bird baths or any potentially contaminated areas.
  • Keep cats indoors and dogs on a leash to limit the potential of your pet encountering an infected bird.
  • Stay off all bodies of water as ice and water conditions are not safe; do not attempt to rescue birds in distress.

Avian Flu poses significant concerns for poultry farmers and those who have backyard flocks. Information about poultry biosecurity and protecting domestic flocks can be found at www.inspection.canada.ca.

The Township Animal Control team will continue to monitor the situation, in conjunction with counterparts across the region, alongside the Ontario Regional Centre of the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative.

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