Duck trapping for Avian Influenza, in Pictures

In 2005, Canada initiated a national inter-agency survey for influenza A viruses in healthy live wild ducks. This survey was stimulated, in the first instance, by a major outbreak of influenza in the Canadian poultry industry in 2004, and subsequently by the spread of the Asian H5N1 highly pathogenic strain from SE Asia to Europe and Africa in 2004-05. The Survey objectives were to identify strains of influenza viruses present in Canada’s wild bird reservoir, to acquire information needed to assess the bio-security of Canada’s poultry industry, and to monitor viral genes of concern to human and animal health.

These Surveys have been highly successful, and the importance of wild duck populations as reservoirs for avian influenza viruses, particularly compared with other related bird species, was clarified.


This series of photographs shows the methods that were used to obtain samples for testing:

1. Duck traps set and baited with grain

2.Ducks are removed from traps

3. Ducks are brought to shore for banding and sampling

4. On shore, each duck is processed and then released

5. Banding: a standard USFWS aluminum leg band with a unique number is applied to one leg of each bird

6. The sample needed to test for influenza viruses consists of one swab taken from the mouth and one form the cloaca

7. All done!

8. Free once more


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