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Take down bird feeders, BC SPCA asks, amid deadly salmonella outbreak

(iStock Photo)

Dozens of pine siskin birds have shown signs of salmonella, many of which have died

Backyard bird feeders can play a big role in spreading the disease

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – If you have a bird feeder in your yard, the BC SPCA is asking you to temporarily remove it as a deadly salmonella outbreak continues to spread around the province.

Since the beginning of the year, the BC SPCA’s Wild Animal Rehabilitation Centre has admitted 43 pine siskin birds showing signs of the disease. Many of them have died.

The organization says backyard feeders can play a big role in spreading salmonella.

“Salmonella is a severe and contagious disease so we’re asking people to temporarily remove, or at the very least, clean their bird feeders and bird baths to prevent further spread of the disease,” said Andrea Wallace, manager of wild animal welfare with the BC SPCA.

If you insist on keeping a bird feeder up, you are asked to regularly clean it with soap and water, and then again with a 10 per cent bleach solution. After rinsing, the feeder should completely air-dry before it is filled with fresh seed.

The SPCA says a sick bird might look lethargic, unusually “fluffed up” and have irritation around the eyes. If you see sick birds in or around your feeder, you should either take down or clean the feeder right away.