Cases of avian influenza have been confirmed in the Magdalen Islands among northern gannets, following the discovery of hundreds of dead birds.
• Read also: Birds die mysteriously in the Magdalen Islands
This announcement, made Tuesday by the Ministry of Forests, Wildlife and Parks (MFFP), contradicts initial reports from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPAQ) which concluded that avian flu is not had nothing to do with the death of the gannets, as reported by the “Journal de Québec” on Monday.
The presence of the disease in gannets was finally confirmed in the laboratory using analyzes carried out on the carcasses of five birds collected from the beaches of the islands.
“Case detection in the Magdalen Islands was predictable. Indeed, several cases of avian influenza have been detected in wild birds in Quebec since the beginning of April, as well as elsewhere in Canada and the United States since December 2021, ”said the MFFP.
In addition, gannets have also perished elsewhere in the country, as well as in Ireland, the ministry noted.
According to local elected officials who confided in the “Journal” on Monday, other types of birds also seem to suffer from avian flu, such as cormorants or gulls, information that remains to be confirmed.
Avian influenza is a disease that occurs naturally in wild birds, but is rarely transmitted to humans. On the other hand, it can be devastating for commercial farms, for example chickens or ducks.
To date, three small independent farms and four commercial farms belonging to Canards du Lac-Brome have borne the brunt of the virus in Quebec, which had forced the euthanasia of hundreds of thousands of birds.