BILLINGS – Canada geese that were found dead at Laurel’s South Pond earlier this week have tested positive for highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI). Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks staff responded to reports of sick and dead Canada geese at the popular Laurel park on Tuesday, Nov. 28. Carcasses were transported to FWP’s Wildlife Health Lab in Bozeman for HPAI testing.
Avian influenza (AI) 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 birds. Low pathogenic AI viruses generally cause no clinical illness, or only minor symptoms in most birds. HPAI viruses are extremely infectious and fatal to poultry and some species of wild birds. Some species of waterfowl can carry and spread the virus without developing symptoms of disease.