Infectious bird flu virus found in snow goose from Canyon Ferry

Highly pathogenic avian influenza virus was found in a snow goose from Canyon Ferry and a Canada goose from near Belgrade last week, Fish, Wildlife & Parks officials said.

The virus was detected earlier this month in domestic poultry in Judith Basin and Cascade counties. Several more birds from around the state are now undergoing testing for the virus, FWP officials said Monday.

This marks the first time since 2015 the virus has been detected in Montana, when it was found in a gyrfalcon and then in a backyard poultry flock in Judith Basin County.

Jennifer Ramsey, wildlife veterinarian with FWP, said the snow goose was sick when it was found at Canyon Ferry by a member the public who took it to the rehabilitation center at Montana Wild in Helena. It was then euthanized and tested. She said she suspects other birds at Canyon Ferry are sick as well.

“I would not be surprised if some tested positive,” she said.

Avian influenza virus is a naturally occurring virus in birds. AI viruses are classified into two groups, based on the severity of disease they cause in infected poultry. Low-pathogenic AI viruses generally cause no clinical illness, or only minor symptoms in birds. Highly pathogenic avian

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