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Wildlife centre plans to build quarantine space to fight spread of avian flu

The Cobequid Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre is now using a modified garage to quarantine the birds
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Nova Scotia's provincial flag flies in Ottawa, Friday July 3, 2020. An animal care facility in Nova Scotia is raising funds to build a quarantine space as the province deals with a growing number of cases of H5N1 bird flu. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

TRURO, N.S. — A wildlife facility in Nova Scotia is raising funds to build a quarantine space as the province deals with a growing number of cases of H5N1 bird flu.

Brenda Boates of the Cobequid Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre in Brookfield, N.S., says the organization estimates it needs $7,000 to build a facility to house birds it suspects are infected with the disease.

The organization is now using a modified garage to quarantine the birds, including eagles and other raptors, and is looking to create a separate building.

Boates says the rehab centre's makeshift quarantine area is currently empty after its most recent occupants were released either into the facility's flyways or back into the wild, making it a perfect time to build a permanent structure.

This follows the province's first confirmed case of the highly pathogenic avian flu strain in January and additional cases in wild birds and commercial flocks since, including the discovery of the disease in a non-commercial flock in southern Nova Scotia last week.

Boates says birds are quarantined for up to 30 days if they have injuries or symptoms that may suggest they're infected with the disease, but none of the birds quarantined so far has tested positive for the disease.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 24, 2022.

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This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Meta and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

The Canadian Press

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