Glacier FarmMedia COVID-19 & the Farm

Canada blocking poultry, eggs from Minnesota

Move meant to limit spread of H5N2 avian flu


Discovery of H5N2 avian flu at a commercial turkey operation in central Minnesota has led Canada to curb cross-border imports of poultry and eggs from the state.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) on Friday announced restrictions blocking any raw poultry or poultry products or byproducts that aren’t fully cooked. Such products — including eggs and raw pet foods — are prohibited if sourced, processed, or packaged in Minnesota.

In short, the agency said, travellers “may not bring these items into Canada” until further notice.

Similar import bans have already been placed on such products from California, Idaho, Oregon and Washington following confirmations of avian flu in commercial and/or wild birds in those states.

Restricted items include live birds, hatching eggs, eggs, yolks, egg whites, feathers, poultry manure, poultry litter, laboratory materials containing poultry products or byproducts, and any poultry meat other than “fully cooked, canned, commercially sterile meat products.”

The restrictions also apply to commercial imports of live poultry, birds and raw or untreated poultry products from the specific quarantine zones within the five affected states until further notice, CFIA said.

Live pet birds may be brought into Canada if they have official certification from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).

CFIA emphasized the products in question carry no food safety risk and its restrictions are meant to prevent introduction of avian flu into other parts of Canada.

USDA officials on Thursday confirmed the strain of highly pathogenic (“high-path”) H5N2 avian flu in turkeys on a commercial farm in Minnesota’s Pope County, about midway between Minneapolis and Fargo, N.D.

USDA noted the case is the first of its kind in the Mississippi flyway, a flight path for migratory birds through central Canada and the U.S. Midwest. The H5N2 strain is the same strain seen in wild birds in the affected western states, APHIS said.

H5N2-related quarantines are still in place in British Columbia’s Fraser Valley at four of 11 commercial poultry and egg farms, and at one “non-commercial” farm, all of which were confirmed in December as infected with the virus. — Network


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