Brampton residents urged to stay away from waterfowl; City testing for bird flu


Published March 17, 2023 at 3:36 pm

Residents are being asked to keep themselves and their pets safe by staying away from waterfowl in Brampton.

The warning comes in response to recent reports of dead waterfowl, such as geese, being found in the area of Professor’s Lake and Duncan Foster Valley South.​

The cause of the birds’ death has not been confirmed.

Brampton Animal Services is actively monitoring these areas, and deceased birds have been sent to the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative to test for Avian Influenza (bird flu).

While the risk of bird flu spreading to humans is very rare, pet owners are asked to take the following precautions:

  • Keep animals away from any waterfowl or fecal matter
  • Do not feed or otherwise interact with the waterfowl
  • Keep cats indoors
  • Keep dogs on a leash (as required under the municipal by-law)
  • Do not feed pets (e.g., dogs or cats) any raw meat from game birds or poultry
  • Pet birds, if not normally kept indoors, should be restricted to the indoors
  • Bird feeders should be removed or washed with soap and water frequently to reduce the chance of bacterial or viral contamination

“If the birds test negative for Avian Influenza, a full necropsy will be conducted to determine the cause of death,” the city said in a statement on Thursday.

Bird flu has become an issue in other parts of the province as well — the Toronto Zoo recently closed its bird aviaries to guests as a precaution after a case of bird flu was confirmed at a commercial poultry farm in southern Ontario.

“While this strain of the disease is highly contagious and lethal to birds, it is important to note there have been no human cases detected in Canada,” said the popular zoo.

More wildlife safety tips are available on the City’s website.

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