Chickens stand down

2019-03-07 04:04:02

Canada’s sentinel chickens will be retired from duty after health authorities discovered that the mosquito that carries West Nile virus doesn’t like the birds. The chickens had been deployed along the border with the US to act as an early warning system for the virus, which causes flu-like symptoms in humans and can be fatal (New Scientist, 20 May 2000, p 7). But Health Canada officials have announced they are standing the birds down after studies last year found chickens are rarely infected. Canada will instead test dead wild birds to monitor the disease,