Protect livestock from the avian flu

  • Bird and poultry owners
  • Protect yourself and your birds
  • Pig farmers

Avian or bird flu is a common virus among birds.

A strain of the virus called highly pathogenic avian influenza is currently spreading easily and quickly. This strain of the avian flu virus causes severe illness and a high death rate in birds. This strain can also spread to other mammals such as domestic livestock, house pets or wildlife.

The Government of Yukon has found the highly pathogenic avian influenza virus in wild migratory birds in the territory.


  1. Bird and poultry owners

    The avian flu is a concern for all Yukon bird and pig owners. It can affect:

    • commercial poultry and egg producers;
    • backyard flock owners, even 1 or 2 hens or other birds raised for meat or eggs;
    • owners of birds (pets, hobby, show and ornamental, sport);
    • people who feed wild birds; and
    • domestic pigs farmers.

     

    You can reduce the risk of your birds catching the virus by:

    • implementing strict biosecurity practices for commercial poultry producers;
    • preventing contact with wild birds;
    • cleaning coops, water dishes and feeders as well as your clothes and boots;
    • avoiding having bird feeders close to poultry barns; and
    • keeping birds or poultry products on 1 farm instead of transferring them.
       

    Poultry producers in the Yukon can find more information on how to recognize the signs and prevent the spread of the avian flu.

    If you have a sick or dead domestic bird, contact your veterinarian and immediately report it to the Animal Health Unit: phone 867-667-5600 or email animalhealth@yukon.ca.

    If you find a sick or injured wild bird, report it to the TIPP line: phone 1-800-661-0525 or visit Yukon.ca/TIPP.

    If you must handle a sick or dead bird, use personal protective equipment.

    Resources

    Government of Canada

    Follow the Government of Canada's tips to help stop the spread of avian influenza in birds.

    Find out more about avian flu in wild birds: Avian influenza in wild birds.

    Canadian Food Inspection Agency

    The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has information on:


  2. Protect yourself and your birds

    Mammals can catch influenza viruses from:

    • hunting infected birds; and
    • scavenging bird carcasses.
       

    Pigs can also be infected when in contact with infected wild or domestic birds.

    Infections of mammals by avian flu are rare and exposure does not always result in illness.

    The virus can spread from direct and close contact with infected birds or contaminated areas. We advise bird and animal owners to take precautions to curb the spread of the virus, including:

    • keeping your birds and animals away from wild birds, bird carcasses or areas highly frequented by birds;
    • consider keeping pets indoors or on leash in areas birds frequent;
    • regularly cleaning and disinfecting:
      • backyard feeders;
      • baths; and
      • areas contaminated with bird feces;
    • taking down feeders and emptying baths; and
    • learning to recognize the signs of bird flu and identify an infected bird.
       

    You can find more information on how to protect your birds or animals from the avian flu on the Canadian Food Inspections Agency website.

    Contact your local veterinarian with any concerns about your domestic pets.

    Human cases of this strain of avian influenza are very uncommon. Human illness tends to be caused by close contact with infected live or dead poultry. While the risk of human infection with avian influenza viruses is low, individuals should be cautious when handling sick or dead birds.

    If you have concerns or questions or become ill after handling birds, see your doctor or contact Yukon Communicable Disease Control (YCDC) at 867-667-8323.

    If you have a sick or dead domestic bird, contact your veterinarian and immediately report it to the Animal Health Unit: phone 867-667-5600 or email animalhealth@yukon.ca.

    If you find a sick or injured wild bird, report it to the TIPP line: phone 1-800-661-0525 or visit Yukon.ca/TIPP.

    If you must handle a sick or dead bird, use personal protective equipment.


  3. Pig farmers

    Pigs are susceptible to influenza viruses.

    To help prevent the spread of the virus to your pigs:

    • keep pigs separate to avoid all contact with poultry or birds; and
    • keep bird carcasses away from other animals.

    If you have a sick or dead domestic bird, contact your veterinarian and immediately report it to the Animal Health Unit: phone 867-667-5600 or email animalhealth@yukon.ca.

    If you find a sick or injured wild bird, report it to the TIPP line: phone 1-800-661-0525 or visit Yukon.ca/TIPP.

    If you must handle a sick or dead bird, use personal protective equipment.


Contact 

If you have a sick or dead domestic bird, contact your veterinarian and immediately report it to the Animal Health Unit: phone 867-667-5600 or email animalhealth@yukon.ca.

If you find a sick or injured wild bird, report it to the TIPP line: phone 1-800-661-0525 or visit Yukon.ca/TIPP.

For any other questions about the avian flu, email agriculture-livestock@yukon.ca or phone 867-667-5838.