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Email Content: Poultry Industry News, Comments and more by Simon M. Shane

Time to Reconsider Control of Resident Canada Geese Near Poultry Farms?

Jan 15, 2015

The realization over the past two years that free-living migratory waterfowl are significant reservoirs and disseminators of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) has altered the approach to prevention of the infection in commercial flocks in North America and the EU. A potential problem may occur following cohabitation of infected migrant ducks with free-living non-migratory resident Canada geese (Branta canadensis). 

In 2005, Innolytics LLC, San Clemente, CA was granted EPA registration for OvoControl® G as a means of “contraception”- control of goose populations on golf courses, airports and on lakes and ponds in subdivisions. At the time these “resident” geese were regarded simply as a nuisance and a mild health hazard. Now we can consider them as a chain in the perpetuation of HPAI if they have direct or indirect contact with poultry, representing a far more serious situation.

OvoControl G is a feed containing 0.5 percent nicarbazin in kibble form to be consumed by adult breeding geese with an intended intake of 50 grams per day. Nicarbazin was originally registered in 1955 as a feed additive to prevent coccidiosis in chickens.  The compound when ingested by mature breeding birds interferes with the development of the vitelline membrane and eggs from treated geese do not hatch.

The use of OvoControl G was evaluated by Innolytics in cooperation with the National Wildlife Research Center of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  The EPA registered OvoControl G (EPA Reg. No. 80224-5) but imposed a number of restrictions limiting the use of the product. These onerous requirements effectively resulted in commercial failure of OvoControl G for a number of reasons. The product requires at least three years to reduce resident populations of geese in an area by approximately 50 percent.  This is due to the fact that geese breed annually over an eight-week period and have a lifespan of up to twenty years in the absence of predators.  This means that the product does not result in rapid removal of a population such as would be desired on a golf course or airport.

Copyright © 2023 Simon M. Shane