The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has notified the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne that as of August 13, 2022, residents of Akwesasne are exempt from restrictions on the importation of personal use poultry and poultry by-product into Canada.


MCA previously raised concerns regarding Canada’s poultry importation restrictions, as Akwesasne residents purchase groceries on both sides of the border and must be able to transport these goods home regardless of the border’s dissection through the territory.


MCA is appreciative of the CFIA’s acknowledgement that Akwesasne residents should be exempt from the restrictions, which are in place due to the avian influenza (bird flu).

A letter to MCA from the CFIA states “Residents of Akwesasne can transport grocery items in retail packaging purchased in the United States into Canada that are intended for the personal consumption of the residents of within Akwesasne territory….Please note that for this exemption, poultry products and by-products include only store-bought edible poultry items such as eggs and poultry meet (whole carcass or cuts).”


The exemption will apply at the Canada Border Service Agency ports of entry in Cornwall, Dundee and Prescott, and they have been notified by the CFIA of this decision.


The CFIA recommends that to reduce the risk of contamination of poultry flocks in the Akwesasne territory, domestic livestock should be kept from coming into contact with disposed waste (for example table scraps should not be fed to livestock or poultry, nor should compost be kept where animals can access it).


For general information regarding the highly pathogenic avian influenza situation in Canada, visit the CFIA website at https://inspection.canada.ca.