The carcasses of thousands of white gannets have been covering the shores of Quebec’s le-de-la-Madeleine for the past two weeks, victims of highly pathogenic avian influenza.
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“Nobody needed to tell me this was happening; it’s clear – we’re talking about thousands of dead birds,” Alsace-de-la-Madeleine mayor Jonathan Lapierre said in a recent interview. .
“We’re not talking about ruin or normalcy. We’re talking about an extraordinary event out of our control. Especially since we don’t have incinerators – we don’t have landfills. We’re on an island Huh!”
Quebec’s Department of Wildlife says that since May 24, it has confirmed several hundred cases of the highly pathogenic H5N1 on lles-de-la-Madeleine, an archipelago of islands in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
Lapierre said the operation to remove all the dead animals had begun. He said the bodies would have to be pulled out of the boat.