Avian flu, a virus that is spreading at high speed

The virus sweeps everything in its path. A veritable scourge for wildlife and livestock, avian flu has catastrophic repercussions on a global scale.

Avian influenza is an infection caused by a group of viruses in the family orthomyxoviridae that affects, as its name suggests, birds.

Extremely contagious, avian flu has a very high mortality rate among farmed birds. A contaminated bird, and often the entire flock must be slaughtered. Order of the authorities.

The dirty work, on the other hand, is entrusted to the creators, who are completely helpless. This is the so-called depopulation strategy whereby everything is eliminated in order to start over in a solid way.

To protect ourselves from that, and you certainly know what I’m talking about, we limit ourselves. Free-range chickens are popping up as much as I am in my basement and everyone is praying they don’t get contaminated.

Despite the modernization of farms and the implementation of strict health protocols, the epidemic has resumed with renewed vigor and it is in 2021 that new cases are identified in Europe.

A year has passed and now we have 46 million farmed animals slaughtered in the European Union alone. Astronomical numbers that reveal the anguish of the creators.

If we have learned to live with these episodes of avian flu for decades, it is the magnitude of this wave that is exceptional and, in particular, its repercussions on wild animals.

another pandemic

The epidemic has been occurring on a global scale in a dozen bird species, mostly marine, and mostly since spring 2022. Aerial photos of geese colonies speak for themselves. Once upon a time, the “white” rocks of thousands of birds are now only lightly sprinkled here and there.

The virus mutations and the new genotypes that are abundant in seabird communities in spring, which have never been seen, are in question. Canada is not far behind and it is by the thousands that bird carcasses can be counted on the east coast, particularly on the islands of Magdalena and Bonaventura.

The stress is even greater because bird flu has only been named since, in 1997, in Hong Kong, a new category of virus was born. It is a subtype of the virus (H5N1) capable of crossing the species barrier and reaching mammals, including humans. A very marked effect this year that led, in particular, to a sharp increase in seal mortality on the São Lourenço River.

In Saskatchewan, hundreds of snow geese were killed by the virus in the spring and at least five species of mammals were infected, forcing the implementation of animal health control measures on farms or even at the Saskatoon City Zoo.

Although the Environment Ministry confirms a sharp decrease in cases, officials say the virus continues to circulate in the province’s wild bird populations.

Today, the priority is to stop the epidemic and transform the industrial farms where these new variants are often born and then spread by wild animals around the world.

It is time to undertake work on a global scale to prevent the disappearance of wild species and, at the same time, make our life a new confinement.


Whether a woman or a French-speaker in a minority situation

Whether a woman or a French-speaker in a minority situation

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