Import Measures for Live Birds to Prevent the Introduction of Avian Influenza in Domestic Birds

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APHD-DSAE-IE-2006-2-5
September 11, 2006

Due to the widespread occurrences of the highly pathogenic H5N1 Asian subtype of avian influenza in both the domestic and in the wild bird compartment of many countries, the CFIA has implemented additional import requirements for all countries currently eligible to export birds to Canada. These conditions provide further assurances that every effort has been made to prevent the introduction of infection into the domestic bird population.

For importation from a country, zone or compartment free from Highly Pathogenic Notifiable Avian Influenza (HPNAI).

For all birds:

The bird being imported must not have been vaccinated against avian influenza (H5, H7).

For live poultry:

  • The poultry were inspected by an official veterinarian and showed no clinical signs of HPNAI within 24 hours of shipment.
  • The poultry were kept in an HPNAI free country, zone or compartment since they were hatched or for the past 21 days;

and either

  • The country has an official surveillance plan for Notifiable Avian Influenza (NAI) in place that has been carried out in the establishment within the past 21 days.

or

  • A representative sample of the shipment (60 birds or the entire shipment if the total number of imported birds is less than 60) was subjected to a diagnostic test on cloacal swabs (PCR or VI) within the 21 days prior to shipment to demonstrate freedom from infection with NAI.

Note: Samples can be pooled to a maximum of 5 swabs per vial. For very small species of birds where cloacal swabbing may be harmful to the bird, a swab from a fresh sample of feces from the bird would be acceptable.

For commercial live birds other than poultry:

  • The birds were inspected by an official veterinarian and showed no clinical sign of infection with a virus which would be considered HPNAI in poultry within 24 hours of shipment;
  • Were kept in isolation at a location approved by the Veterinary Services since they were hatched or for the 21 days prior to shipment and showed no clinical sign of infection with a virus which would be considered HPNAI in poultry during the isolation period;
  • A representative sample of the shipment (60 birds or the entire shipment if the total number of imported birds is less than 60) was subjected to a diagnostic test or cloacal swabs (PCR or VI) within the 21 days prior to shipment to demonstrate freedom from infection with NAI;

Note: Samples can be pooled to a maximum of 5 swabs per vial. For very small species of birds where cloacal swabbing may be harmful to the bird, a swab from a fresh sample of feces from the bird would be acceptable.

  • Are transported in new containers.

For Day-old chicks:

  • Were kept in an HPNAI free country, zone or compartment since they were hatched;
  • Were derived from parent flocks which had been kept in an NAI free establishmentFootnote * for 21 days prior to and at the time of the collection of the eggs;
  • Are transported in new containers.

For hatching eggs:

  • Come from an HPNAI free country, zone or compartment;
  • Were derived from parent flocks which had been kept in an NAI free establishmentFootnote * for 21 days prior to and at the time of the collection of the eggs;
  • Are transported in new packing material.

Note: Samples can be pooled to a maximum of 5 swabs per vial. For very small species of birds where cloacal swabbing may be harmful to the bird, a swab from a fresh sample of feces from the bird would be acceptable.

Post Import Quarantine

For all commercial live birds:

A representative sample of the shipment (60 birds or the entire shipment if the total number of imported birds is less than 60) will be tested for NAI using PCR swabbing and virus isolation 21 days after entering the approved quarantine location. Negative results must be available prior to the release of the birds.

Note: Samples can be pooled to a maximum of 5 swabs per vial. For very small species of birds where cloacal swabbing may be harmful to the bird, a swab from a fresh sample of feces from the bird would be acceptable.

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