Avian influenza (bird flu), is a general term for a number of "flu-like" diseases caused by viruses that primarily infect domestic poultry and certain wild birds including various species of waterfowl. Avian influenza viruses of many types are commonly found in healthy migratory birds and cause no ill effects to wild bird populations. However, some forms of avian influenza (bird flu), such as the Asian H5N1 type are more virulent and are of more concern from a human health standpoint.
The risk to humans from avian influenza is extremely low and hunters should follow some simple, common sense precautions when handling wild birds. Please see Handling and Preparing Wild Meat.
If sick or dead waterfowl (ducks, geese, swans), or shorebirds (plovers, sandpipers) are found especially in groups of three (3) or more, contact the Canadian Wildlife Service at 204-984-6203 or Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship at 1-800-214-6497 or 945-6784 in Winnipeg.