THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO ----- March 6, 2015 ---New cases of avian influenza have been confirmed in the state of Minnesota. The CFIA advisory to travellers has been updated to reflect this information.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is implementing measures to protect Canada's poultry resources from an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza reported in poultry in the states of Minnesota, California, Idaho, Oregon and Washington, USA.
Travellers should know that, due to this outbreak, all raw poultry and all poultry products and by-products that are not fully cooked, including eggs and raw pet foods, sourced, processed, or packaged from the states of Minnesota, California, Idaho, Oregon and Washington are under restriction until further notice. You may not bring these items into Canada.
These measures are a normal part of Canada's animal disease control efforts and are consistent with international guidelines on trade.
Examples of restricted items include:
•live birds and hatching eggs
•eggs, yolks, egg whites (albumen)
•poultry meat (other than fully cooked, canned, commercially sterile meat products)
•raw pet foods containing poultry products
•poultry manure and litter
•laboratory material containing poultry products/by-products
Live pet birds may be brought into Canada with official certification from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).
Commercial imports of live poultry, birds and raw or untreated avian products are restricted from the specific quarantine zones within the states of Minnesota, California, Idaho, Oregon and Washington until further notice. Commercial importers should refer to the CFIA's Automated Import Reference System (AIRS) for more information on restricted products.
There is no food safety risk associated with these products. These measures are being taken to prevent the introduction of avian influenza into other parts of Canada.
More than 40 countries have banned poultry imports from Minnesota after a highly pathogenic strain of avian influenza wiped out a flock of 15,000 birds in about a week.
Health officials in the country's largest turkey-producing state say farmers are taking extra precautions and the strain is unlikely to infect humans. The head of the state's turkey farming association says he's "guardedly optimistic" the flu can be contained. But the rapid action in Europe, Central America and elsewhere could jeopardize up to about $100 million in international exports.
The H5N2 strain will have "a huge impact" on Minnesota's turkey exports, said Steve Olson, executive director of the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association. About 6 million Minnesota turkeys are sent to international markets every year, roughly 13.5 percent of total production, according to the growers association. Those international exports add up to about $100 million annually.