The Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS) has banned supplemental feeding of waterfowl this year due to the present Highly Pathogenic Avian Flu (HPAI) outbreak.
Supplemental feeding (regulated under strict conditions) is used by many private hunt clubs and some public waterfowl hunting areas, such as Long Point. The decision, made in July, reflects concerns that HPAI will surge during the fall migration, as experience in Europe has shown. It will be revisited next year.
“The ongoing 2021-2022 wave of HPAI H5N1 is unprecedented in its rapid spread and high frequency of outbreaks in both domestic and wild birds,” Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) spokesperson Hannah Boonstra said.
As of late July, avian influenza was detected in 100 wild birds, representing 21 species of waterfowl, water birds, and raptors. Twelve mammals, all mink and red fox, have also tested positive.