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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Canada : Ottawa prepares for annual wild bird survey to detect bird-flu levels

Via The Vancouver Sun :

" OTTAWA : Food inspection agents are gearing up to conduct their annual survey of wild birds to check current levels of avian influenza.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency issued an advance contract notice, which closes next week, for companies interested in overseeing the survey, which examines both dead and live birds all over the country and detects levels and patterns of bird flu.

The study, first launched in 2005, identifies disease-causing strains, such as the deadly H5N1, in wild geese, ducks, swans and other fowl so government officials can better determine how to stop their spread should there be an outbreak.

This year, government workers plan to take swabs from about 600 dabbling ducks, such as the blue-winged teal in the Prairies, and another 2,000 samples from various aquatic birds in Quebec, Nunavut and the Maritimes. The samples are tested at a lab in Winnipeg and the results are compiled in a national database."

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