Possession of migratory birds found dead allowed under variance

A public notice released at the end of last August by the Government of Canada announced a variance in the Migratory Bird Regulations that would allow the temporary possession of migratory birds found dead. (This refers to birds found dead of unknown natural causes, rather than those killed as a result of hunting.)

Under the variance, which remains in effect until Aug. 20, 2022, a person may possess such birds if, and only if, that person is in the process of delivering them to authorities for testing.

The notice says, “We made this exception to help us monitor bird viruses. Testing dead birds is the most effective way to detect these viruses. We need the public’s help to bring found dead birds to our partners for testing. Normally you are not allowed to have in your possession any migratory birds that you find dead.”

If you find a dead migratory bird, contact the Canadian Cooperative Wildlife Health Centre by visiting the website at www.cwhc-rcsf.ca or by phoning 1-800-567-2033.

Before handling, visit the Public Health Agency of Canada website at www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/flu-influenza/fact-sheet-guidance-on-precautions-handling-wild-birds.html for guidance on precautions.

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