The Finnish Food Authority recommended not to hunt waterfowl in areas or places where mass deaths of birds have occurred or avian influenza has been detected, said an official press release on Wednesday.
It is common to use dogs for hunting birds. For this reason, it is best not to hunt in obvious avian influenza areas to protect the health of both humans and dogs. This recommendation applies to all of Finland.
The authority also recommended not hunting gulls or corvids at all this year for the purpose of training dogs now or later.
Viruses can remain infectious in frozen meat, and although infections in dogs have been globally rare, the possibility of infection cannot be completely ruled out. Protected species (most waterfowl and other bird species) may not be shot or used for training.
The hunters were urged to not give dogs uncooked parts or meat from game birds.
They should make sure that dogs do not get an opportunity to eat or chew on animals people have hunted or on birds or other animals that have died on their own.
If a pet has managed to play with or eat a dead or diseased wild bird and the pet’s general condition deteriorates, hunters should seek veterinary care. If a cat or dog has clearly dirtied itself with bird faeces, hunters should wash the pet carefully and make sure to use personal protection while doing so.
Even when plucking and cleaning healthy game birds, hunters should wear disposable gloves and wash hands afterwards.
Otherwise it is enough to observe normal cooking hygiene and to fully cook the meat. People must never eat birds that are diseased or that have died on their own.
- avian influenza