BISMARCK, ND — After considering letters raising concerns from America’s Delta Waterfowl hunters, Ducks Unlimited and other conservation partners, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service today announced new provisions that allow to import of wild birds taken by hunters from Canada to the United States. These new provisions amend APHIS’ statement from 10 days ago that it functionally closed all bird imports from all Canadian provinces.
“This is great news for American waterfowl hunters already in Canada and for those who plan to hunt there this season,” Delta Policy Director John Devney said. “As a Duck Hunting Organization, we sincerely thank APHIS for reconsidering the restrictions and for doing so so quickly. It definitely brings optimism back to the hearts of hunters hoping to hunt duck and goose in Canada this fall after what promises to have been an exceptional summer of duck production!”
The USDA announcement says that, beginning immediately, APHIS will allow the importation of wild game bird carcasses collected by hunters, originating in or transiting through Canada, that meet the following conditions:
- The viscera, head, neck, legs, skin and one wing have been removed; Y
- Feathers have been removed, with the exception of one wing, as required by the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) for species identification; Y
- Carcasses must be rinsed with clean, fresh potable water prior to packaging and must be free of visible evidence of contamination with dirt, blood, or feces; Y
- Carcasses must be imported in leak-proof plastic containers and stored in a leak-proof cooler or container during transportation and importation; Y
- Carcasses must be refrigerated or frozen during transportation and importation.
APHIS further recommends that boots and any equipment used to process carcasses be clean and visibly free of dirt, blood, tissue, and feces.
However, it is important to note that cooked or cured meat and meat products (e.g. sausage, jerky, etc.) IT WILL NOT allowed to import because USFWS regulations for identifying the species cannot be met.
Devney added: “This much-appreciated reversal from APHIS in no way minimizes the serious problems of highly pathogenic avian influenza. Ethical and law-abiding hunters will follow these restrictions carefully and fully and properly to present our birds for proper inspection at the border.”
You can read the full USDA APHIS statement regarding Canadian hunter-harvested wildfowl meat posted at: https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/newsroom/stakeholder-info/sa_by_date/sa-2022/ canada-wild-game-birds-carcasses