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Commercial milk sampling and testing for highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) viral fragments in Canada

As part of the Government of Canada's One Health approach, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) in collaboration with the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and Health Canada is taking proactive measures to monitor Canadian dairy cows for HPAI.

Commercially sold milk and milk products remain safe to consume. In Canada, milk must be pasteurized before sale. The pasteurization process kills harmful bacteria and viruses, including HPAI, ensuring milk and milk products are safe to drink and eat.

We conducted testing of milk at the retail level to look for viral fragments of HPAI. CFIA laboratories tested commercial milk samples from across Canada using a type of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test. The method used to test milk for HPAI is very sensitive and is able to detect fragments of the virus, even if the virus is not infectious.

Negative results mean that HPAI fragments are not present in milk. This supports current reports that the virus has not been detected in Canadian dairy cows.

Milk sampling and testing results

CFIA laboratories tested 303 retail milk samples from across Canada. All samples have tested negative for HPAI fragments, with no evidence of disease in dairy cattle detected in milk.

Results of the Canada-wide testing of retail milk samples are listed below. Next steps on testing will be decided as part of further discussions with partners.

Date testing completed Area Samples tested HPAI detections (positive or negative)
May 16, 2024 Atlantic provinces 77 All negative
May 16, 2024 Ontario 75 All negative
May 16, 2024 Quebec 76 All negative
May 16, 2024 Western provinces 75 All negative

How we are responding to HPAI in cattle

In Canada, HPAI is a reportable disease in all animals. All suspected cases must be reported to the CFIA. There are currently no confirmed detections of HPAI in cattle in Canada.

Learn more about protective measures in place for HPAI in livestock in Canada.