Revised Conditions for Allowance of Hunter Harvested Wild Game Bird Carcasses from Canada


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Revised Conditions for Allowance of Hunter Harvested Wild Game Bird Carcasses from Canada 


Issued: August 3, 2023 

Effective: August 3, 2023 


On September 2, 2022, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) issued a stakeholder alert implementing restrictions on hunter-harvested wild bird meat/carcasses from all of Canada, regardless of province, due to the risk of transmitting highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI). HPAI is an extremely infectious poultry disease spreading throughout North America, primarily by wild birds. APHIS regulations implement strict import controls to prevent HPAI introductions resulting from people transporting contaminated wildlife meat, carcasses, and trophies into the United States.   


APHIS has been working with stakeholders, hunter/waterfowl organizations, and other Federal agencies to provide appropriate requirements for importing hunter-harvested wild bird meat/carcasses that address the HPAI transmission risk to our domestic poultry. After receiving proposals from stakeholders and hunting organizations, APHIS has revised the conditions and will allow the skin to remain intact for the import of hunter-harvested wild bird meat/carcasses as outlined below. 


Unprocessed hunter-harvested wild game bird carcasses, originating from or transiting Canada, must meet following conditions: 


  • Viscera, head, neck, feet, and one wing have been removed; skin can remain on the carcass 
  • Feathers have been removed, with the exception of one wing – as required by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) for species identification; and 
  • Carcasses must be thoroughly cleansed in fresh, clean, potable water prior to packaging and must not have visible evidence of contamination with dirt, blood, other tissues, or feces; and 
  • Carcasses must be imported in sealed leak-proof plastic packaging that must be thoroughly cleaned on the outside with soap and water prior to storage; and   
  • Packaged carcasses must be stored in a leak proof cooler or container during transport and import; and 
  • Carcasses must be chilled or frozen during transport and import 


APHIS further recommends that boots and any equipment used to process the carcasses should be clean and visibly free from dirt, blood, tissue, and feces. 

Hunter-harvested wild game bird trophies entering the United States from Canada must be either: fully taxidermy finished, accompanied by a Veterinary Services import permit, or consigned directly to a USDA Approved Establishment. Hunters may find an Approved Establishment by visiting the Veterinary Services Process Streamlining search page and searching for a taxidermist with the HPAI product code in their home State. 


Cooked or cured meat and meat products (for example, sausage, jerky, etc.) will not be allowed import as FWS requirements cannot be met to identify the species of wild bird. For FWS requirements for the hunter harvested wild game birds from Canada, please contact them at  


For any questions regarding permitting and the import of animal products and by-products, please contact Animal Product Imports at 301-851-3300 or send an e-mail to 

Resources for hunters: 









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