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Allowance of Hunter Harvested Wild Bird Game Carcasses from Canada

Issued: September 12, 2022
Effective: September 12, 2022

On September 2, 2022, USDA APHIS issued a stakeholder alert implementing restrictions on hunter harvested wild bird meat/carcasses from all of Canada, regardless of province, due to the risk of transmitting highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI). HPAI is an extremely infectious poultry disease spreading throughout North America, primarily by wild birds. APHIS regulations implement strict import controls to prevent HPAI introductions resulting from people transporting contaminated wildlife meat, carcasses, and trophies into the United States.

APHIS has been working with stakeholders and other federal agencies to provide options for importing hunter-harvested wild bird meat/carcasses that address the HPAI transmission risk to our domestic poultry. Effective September 12, APHIS will allow the import of hunter harvested wild bird meat/carcasses as outlined below.

Unprocessed hunter-harvested wild game bird carcasses, originating from or transiting Canada, must meet following conditions:

  • Viscera, head, neck, feet, skin, and one wing have been removed; and
  • Feathers have been removed, with the exception of one wing – as required by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) for species identification; and
  • Carcasses must be rinsed in fresh, clean, potable water prior to packaging and must not have visible evidence of contamination with dirt, blood, or feces; and
  • Carcasses must be imported in leak-proof plastic packaging and stored in a leak proof cooler or container during transport and import; and
  • Carcasses must be chilled or frozen during transport and import.

APHIS further recommends that boots and any equipment used to process the carcasses should be clean and visibly free from dirt, blood, tissue, and feces.

Cooked or cured meat and meat products (for example, sausage, jerky, etc.) will not be allowed import as U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service requirements cannot be met to identify the species of wild bird.

Hunter-harvested wild game bird trophies entering the United States from Canada must be fully finished, or accompanied by a VS import permit, or consigned directly to a USDA Approved Establishment. Hunters may find an approved taxidermy establishment by visiting the Veterinary Services Process Streamlining (VSPS) search page and searching for a taxidermist with the HPAI product code in your state.

For any questions regarding import of animal products and by-products, please contact Animal Product Imports at 301-851-3300 or send an email to APIE@usda.gov.

For U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service requirements for the hunter harvested wild game birds from Canada, please contact them at https://www.fws.gov/initiative/hunting/hunters-responsibility.



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