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Fujian H5N8 In Three Pet Falcons In Lynden Washington
Recombinomics Commentary
December 17, 2014 06:0

Castro said publicity about the disease outbreak in Canada prompted the falcon owner in Washington to report its death.

Swab samples from the captive gyrfalcon were sent to the Washington State University Avian Health & Food Safety Laboratory in Puyallup. The USDA’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Iowa confirmed the positive tests over the weekend.

Baker called the wild duck that the falcon ate the “smoking gun,” though further USDA tests will have to be done on meat leftover from the duck to confirm whether that’s what gave the falcon the virus.

It was not immediately known where the hunter killed that duck.
The Washington State Department of Agriculture is stepping up testing at Whatcom County, after three falcons with the Avian Bird Flu virus were found in Lynden, Washington. The tests show that three pet falcons had contracted a strain of the virus (H5N8) that is different than the current outbreak north of the Canadian border in Abbotsford, British Columbia.

The above comments (in red) provide more detail on the pet falcon described in the OIE report and USDA press release.  Testing was done after the bird died and the leftover meat from the eaten duck will be tested for H5N8.

It is unclear if the dead falcon is one of the three cited in the second report (in blue).  The current status of the additional flacons and relationship to the shot ducks or dead falcon is unclear.

However, Lynden (see map) is only 5 miles from the Langley farm, as well as the two turkey barns in Aldersgrove, where H5N2 was confirmed.

It remains unclear why H5N8 was found in 3 or 4 falcons in or around Lynden, but not in any of the reported poultry outbreaks in British Columia, which are only 5 miles away.

Increased surveillance may identify H5N8 in Canada, since the H5N8 in Lynden would have migrated through Canada after exiting Asia.

More detail between the dead falcon and the two or three additional pets would be useful.

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