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Birds: What's the deal?

April 2017

Learn about migratory birds and avian influenza.

Birds: What's the Deal? – Transcript/Captions

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency corporate introduction plays. It shows images that represent the work of the Agency including a petri dish, strawberries, a growing plant, a chicken and a maple leaf.

Text: CFIA – Safeguarding with Science

A spokesperson pops on screen. He is wearing a white lab coat. In the background is a laboratory shelf full of glass beakers.

You have likely noticed the lab coat I am sporting and given I work at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, that I must be a scientist.

The spokesperson appears in front of a red static-filled background.

Well truth be told, I'm not.

The spokesperson appears in a laboratory filled with scientific equipment.

I borrowed it for Halloween from one of our highly trained veterinarians.

The background changes to an outdoor forest environment.

That brings me to my next point: What does the CFIA and these birds have in common?

The spokesperson opens his lab coat and a flock of birds fly out. The spokesperson looks surprised. The birds fly up and off screen.

Animated text accompanied by an upbeat jingle: What's the Deal?

The spokesperson appears in front of a red background filled with falling leaves. The leaves fade away and ghosts appear.

With the – dare I say it – arrival of fall, there is a significant threat – and I'm not just referring to Halloween – that the season brings with it!

The spokesperson appears in close-up on a green background.

Is it a zombie apocalypse?

A green-skinned "zombie" version of the spokesperson pops up in the background and looks at the viewer.

I hope not!

The spokesperson appears on a colourful spiral background. He shrugs.

So, what's the deal?

The spokesperson appears on a red background. Silhouettes of geese appear on screen.

What I'm talking about is the fact that wild migratory birds, particularly waterfowl, are potential carriers of the avian influenza virus.

A series of shots show birds in the water: Ducks swimming and geese standing in water.

While the viruses do not cause severe illness in waterfowl, and very rarely in humans, certain strains can cause severe illness and kill domestic poultry and some wild bird species.

A map of Canada appears on screen with a sweeping radar overlay.

In order to protect human and animal health, we conduct inspections and have monitoring and testing programs in place to prevent and control the spread of diseases to the livestock and poultry sectors.

I'm sensing some concern from our backyard flock owners out there.

Backyard flocks and other birds are shown: Chickens in a coop, a rooster outside, baby chicks drinking water from a tube.

The spokesperson appears in front of a football playbook diagram.

Luckily with the right measures in place, backyard flock owners, commercial producers and bird keepers can ensure their first line of defence is on the field!

A laptop is shown on a laboratory desk. The spokesperson appears on the laptop screen.

The CFIA web address appears:

And don't forget, we have tons of valuable tips on our website at

Canada wordmark. Copyright Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada (Canadian Food Inspection Agency), 2017.

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