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Avian flu halts wild bird rehab for the year at the Atlantic Veterinary College

A wildlife technician at Prince Edward Island’s Atlantic Veterinary College says avian influenza has made 2022 a very strange year.

Fiep de Bie says the animal clinic hasn’t admitted wild birds since March because of the highly contagious virus.

She says wild birds compose about 85 per cent of the clinic’s caseload, adding that the veterinary college admitted about 425 wild birds in 2021.

De Bie says the difficult decision was made in order to protect the exotic pets that are treated at the animal hospital, which is part of the University of Prince Edward Island.

The wildlife technician says the hospital isn’t big enough to isolate infected animals and that a bigger space is needed before the clinic can care for wild birds again.

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She says she is hopeful the university can raise enough money to expand the hospital so that wild birds can be readmitted next spring.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 30, 2022.

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