Canada-U.S. border Thanksgiving bird alert: Canadians banned from bringing turkey, eggs, poultry, leftovers into country from U.S.

CFIA Thanksgiving turkey warning
CFIA Thanksgiving turkey warning

Anyone thinking of taking a trip to the U.S. for their turkey this weekend will need to reconsider, after the federal government issued a warning about importing turkey into Canada. The alert comes in time for Canadian Thanksgiving weekend, when turkeys are in high demand.

A notice on the website for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) states that there are restrictions on bringing in several poultry-related products to the country, as a result of the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) that’s impacted several U.S. states, as well as provinces in Canada.

The products that won’t be allowed include poultry and poultry products for human consumption that are not retail packaged and ready to eat, as well as avian by-products that are not fully cooked and canned or packaged in other hermetically sealed containers, including raw pet foods.

The warning doesn’t apply to commercial shipments of products or by-products that enter Canada with documentation from official veterinarians from the U.S.

What is being restricted is the import of fresh, raw or unprocessed poultry products and by-products from any U.S. state that is currently experiencing an outbreak. These include border states like Maine, New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Idaho and Washington.

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Poultry products that are bought in a state that isn’t experiencing an outbreak will need to come with a receipt stating that fact. Otherwise, expect it to be confiscated.

"Those without proper documentation will have to surrender their poultry to Canada Border Services Officers for disposal, or return the item to the grocery store," CFIA said in the release.

Other items that will not be permitted into the country include raw poultry meat (including frozen turkeys and chickens), raw table eggs, egg yolks and egg white (albumen), cooked leftovers from a restaurant, raw pet food and raw poultry items for pet food and feathers.