Canada is tightening import requirements for American breeding cattle due to concerns about bird flu

(Reuters) – The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has tightened import requirements for U.S. breeding livestock due to the H5N1 bird flu virus, the agency said in a statement on Friday.

The first confirmed case of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in a dairy herd on March 25 and the second human case in two years on April 1 have heightened concerns in the US about the virus spreading to animals and humans.

The CFIA has tightened import requirements for dairy cattle from the US starting April 29, the statement said.

U.S. livestock import measures now include negative HPAI test results for lactating dairy cattle, testing of retail milk to look for viral fragments of HPAI, and voluntary testing of cows that show no clinical signs of the virus. the CFIA said.

Since 2022, bird flu has infected more than 90 million chickens, more than 9,000 wild birds and 34 dairy herds in the United States, as well as one person in Texas who came into close contact with infected livestock and another person after exposure to poultry.

(Reporting by Gursimran Kaur in Bengaluru and Rod Nickel in Winnipeg, Manitoba; Editing by Leslie Adler)