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Two ravens are NWT’s latest avian flu casualties


Tests have confirmed two ravens found dead in October had avian flu, the Northwest Territories government said on Wednesday.

The ravens, found in the Dehcho in late October, are the second and third birds to have been found with highly pathogenic avian influenza, or HPAI, in the territory this year.

The first was a Yellowknife herring gull in June.

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Cases of the virus rose sharply in southern Canada at the onset of fall. Millions of birds were affected according to federal data, while farmers in Alberta reported the potential for entire farms to be wiped out in days.

The NWT has so far escaped that fate, the territorial government said in a Wednesday news release.

Two cases of animal Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) has been confirmed in wild birds from the Northwest Territories (NWT). This brings the total to three cases found in the NWT to date.

Confirmation of positive cases in the two ravens was received last week, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources stated.

“There have been no other cases reported and no indication of an outbreak in the NWT at this time,” the department continued.

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“There have been no reports of sick birds with symptoms consistent with avian influenza from any agriculture or environmental operators.”

No human infection as a result of the outbreak has been reported in Canada this year, the GNWT added.