Wildlife Health Alerts
Last Updated: February 11, 2021
The following are current wildlife health alerts for B.C. Learn how to report sick or dead animals.
A virulent strain of Paramyxovirus (PMV) has recently been detected in free-ranging pigeons in North Vancouver. Paramyxoviruses are in a family of bird viruses with variability in species susceptibility and their ability to cause disease; this strain appears to be pigeon-adapted (pPMV).
PMV causes “Newcastle Disease” in poultry and does create significant risk to the poultry industry as well as pet pigeons and doves if there is transmission. While poultry are less likely to show disease, infection could result in industry-wide impacts. Fortunately, since this site is distant to poultry farms the risk is reduced.
Signs of infection usually appear after a 2-12 day incubation period and may be sub-clinical (no signs), mild to moderate (depression, thirst, green diarrhea, stop egg laying) or severe (twisted necks, incoordination, loss of balance, gasping, muscle tremors, death).
Human health – on rare occasions exposure to PMV has caused temporary conjunctivitis (pink eye) in humans but does not cause significant disease in humans.
Spread of pPMV is through movement of infected birds, contaminated equipment, footwear, or manure. Good biosecurity measures should prevent the introduction of the virus to susceptible birds.
To stop the spread of PMV to susceptible birds, strong biosecurity practices are advised:
- Quarantine incoming pigeons and doves
- Keep feeders inside the coop to discourage mixing of domestic and free-ranging birds
- Remove manure and soiled bedding frequently
- Wear gloves when handling pigeons
- Wash hands, footwear, and remove soiled clothing between birds