As H5N1 avian flu ramps up again across Canada with the fall wild bird migration, we’re likely going to see more situations where more unique populations of captive birds are affected, beyond the usual large or small poultry flocks. The CFIA’s standard response to highly pathogenic avian flu (like the current H5N1 strain) is “

As the unprecedented outbreak of H5N1 avian influenza continues in North America, there are numerous concerns about where the outbreak is heading and threats to other species, including domestic and wild mammals, and people (the latter being just another “domestic mammal”).  My inbox is filled with questions about different concerns and scenarios. The one I’ll

I’m always on the lookout for good-looking, easy-access resources to help communicate (and to help others communicate) messages around safe and responsible pet ownership, which is how this blog got its start!  I also don’t like re-inventing the wheel when I don’t have to, and I appreciate that many organizations have people with vastly better

This one’s easy. Birds are not susceptible to SARS-CoV-2. Stop reading here if that’s all you want to know.  If you’d like a little more detail read on…

The SARS-CoV-2 virus originated in mammals (most likely in bats, which will be the topic of the next review) and has spread to other mammals (especially people,

It was surprising to see what things sold out early in the pandemic: toilet paper, yeast, exercise equipment…. and chicken coops.

Yes, there was a run on chicken coops.

It seems like a lot of people decided to get backyard chickens in response to all the COVID-19 restrictions.

Any human-to-animal contact has a mixture of

I was at our local farm supply store the other day and saw a sign indicating they were out of chicken coops and trying to find more from different sources. I wonder if there’s a run on backyard chickens as people spend more time at home.  There are some positive aspects to that – and

COVID-19 derailed our plans for some backyard chicken work (e.g. research and education) this spring, but the emergence of COVID-19 doesn’t mean all other infectious disease issues have disappeared. Some problems will be reduced by the precautions put in place to control COVID-19, but other problems may actually get worse. Backyard chickens continue to be

The hunt for the intermediate host for SARS-CoV-2 continues. It’s pretty universally accepted (the odd conspiracy theorist aside) that this virus, like SARS and MERS, originated in bats. How it made it to people is an important question we’d like to answer to help understand this virus and future risks.

Figuring that out is challenging