Canada’s no-buy list for poultry, eggs down to two states

Canada is now warning cross-border travellers to the U.S. against bringing in raw poultry and eggs from two states, down from six at the end of 2015.

As of Tuesday, according to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, travellers entering Canada from the U.S. may not bring in uncooked poultry products, live birds and/or eggs from North Dakota or Missouri.

Up until Tuesday, such products originating in Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota had also been blocked. Kansas was also on the list up until Dec. 16.

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Between December 2014 and June 2015, CFIA has imposed such restrictions on poultry and eggs from 15 states where strains of highly pathogenic avian influenza had appeared in commercial poultry flocks.

Avian flu had been detected in birds at 219 properties across those 15 states, leading to destruction for over 48 million infected and/or exposed birds. North Dakota had cases at just two farms, the most recent in April, affecting about 111,500 birds; Missouri had three, the most recent in May, affecting about 53,100.

Canada’s restrictions on U.S. poultry and eggs have been gradually lifted state-by-state in recent months, despite the U.S. having declared itself as free of high-path avian flu in November, as per the requirements laid out by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).

Cross-border travellers who buy poultry and eggs while visiting the U.S. will want to make sure they have proof that those products originated from, and were bought in, states not still under CFIA’s restrictions, the agency said Tuesday.

For travellers, the list of restricted items includes live birds, hatching eggs, eggs, yolks, egg whites, uncooked or partially-cooked poultry meat, feathers, poultry manure/litter and laboratory materials containing poultry products or byproducts.

If the goods originate in either of the affected states, “you may not bring these items into Canada,” CFIA said.

Live pet birds will be allowed if they arrive with the appropriate certification from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Commercial-level poultry and egg imports remain restricted only from “specific quarantine zones” within North Dakota and Missouri until further notice, CFIA said.

CFIA on Tuesday emphasized its restrictions shouldn’t be taken as a sign of food safety risk from the affected products, but rather are a “normal part of Canada’s animal disease control efforts” to keep avian flu out of the country, and are “consistent with international guidelines on trade.”

Canada in early October also self-declared as free of high-path avian flu by OIE standards, following outbreaks in flocks at 13 properties in British Columbia in December 2014 and in February 2015, and at three farms in southwestern Ontario in April 2015. — AGCanada.com Network

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