Animal Health Canada Update

US Detections of H5N1 in Dairy Cattle

Highly pathogenic avian influenza – HPAI (H5N1) has been detected in dairy cattle in nine states in the US.

There have been no cases detected to date in Canadian dairy cattle.

Animal Health Canada with its divisions have been working closely with government, industry, veterinary associations, regional/national surveillance partners, and laboratorians on the situation.

As this is an evolving issue, we will continue to work with our members and share the most up-to-date information as we receive them on this page.

Please refer to our resources list below for the most updated resources.

E-mail us at if you have any inquiries.

May 15, 2024 update

The Guidance for private veterinarians for HPAI in cattle has been updated to include information on sampling non-clinical animals.

View it here:

CFIA laboratories tested 142 retail milk samples from across Canada. To date, all samples have tested negative for HPAI fragments, with no evidence of disease in dairy cattle detected in milk.


May 9, 2024 update

On May 9, 2024, the Canadian Animal Health Surveillance System (CAHSS) division held a virtual webinar for veterinarians and veterinary professionals on Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) in dairy cattle. With 285 people in attendance, it allowed for an update on the current situation, discussion on the national collaborative approach among federal/provincial governments and industry, an update on the CFIA guidance document for the private practitioner, and recommendations on how to support producer clients. CAHSS and AHC would like to thank the speakers of the event for taking the time to provide their expertise.

The webinar recording is available on the CAHSS YouTube channel.


May 3, 2024 update

The Government of Canada provides an update on Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza.

In addition to the robust protective measures that already exist, the Government of Canada, in collaboration with stakeholders, is expanding its surveillance to manage the possible emergence of HPAI in Canada by:

Read the full statement from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, the Public Health Agency of Canada and Health Canada here

May 1, 2024 update

Due to the outbreak of HPAI (H5N1) in dairy cattle in the USA, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) will require an addendum to the export certificate of cattle imported under the import policy Requirements for Breeding Cattle Imported from the United States to Canada. 

This will apply to export certificates issued on or after April 29, 2024, and until further notice

Read here

April 25, 2024 update

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has issued a Federal Order requiring pre-movement testing and reporting of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in livestock.

You can find the Federal Order here:

and additional information on the situation in the United States here: 

April 19, 2024 update

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has released a guidance document for Canadian veterinarians to consider related to Highly pathogenic avian influenza – HPAI (H5N1) in cattle, specifically related to collecting and submitting samples. This guidance will be updated regularly as the situation evolves, so ensure to check back on the CFIA web page frequently for the most current recommendations.

As of April 19, 2024, HPAI has not been reported in dairy cattle or other livestock in Canada. The CFIA is monitoring the situation closely. For more information, refer to their website on Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in livestock.

Veterinarians should be on the look out for the following:

  • A sudden decrease in milk (especially in older cows)
  • Thicker consistency milk, similar to colostrum
  • Little to no signs of mastitis (a negative or trace positive result from the California Mastitis Test)
  • Decrease in feed consumption
  • Drop in rumen motility
  • Dry manure or constipation (diarrhea has been observed occasionally)
  • Fever (sometimes)
  • A history of dead wild birds on the property

Veterinarians must contact their local CFIA district office and, where required, the provincial Chief Veterinary Officer if they suspect HPAI infection in cattle.

April 5, 2024 update

Our Canadian Animal Health Surveillance System (CAHSS) division is updating its Dairy Surveillance Network page regularly to include the latest information and resources on H5N1 HPAI avian influenza. View here:

Key points to date

  • H5N1 virus detections in dairy cattle have not been reported in Canada as of April 19, 2024
  • Although there's been 1 mild human case in Texas, recent testing performed on the cattle samples with HPAI in the US does not indicate that it is more transmissible to humans.
  • The Canadian dairy industry benefits from having a national quality assurance program, called proAction, with an existing strong biosecurity component to reduce the risk of introduction to herds.
  • Enhanced biosecurity is recommended to reduce the potential of H5N1 HPAI from wild birds spreading to Canadian cattle.


  1. Minimize/restrict access of wild birds to cattle and their environment.
  2. Restrict unnecessary movement of people and cattle on the farm.
  3. Consider feeding pasteurized colostrum or milk to calves or using colostrum/milk replacers.
  4. Wear personal protective equipment (PPE) when handling sick cattle or sick/dead birds and wash your hands afterwards.
  5. Report any increased sick/dead wild birds near the farm property to the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative.
  6. Consult your herd veterinarian if you notice any abnormal symptoms in your dairy herd including: fever, lethargy, sudden drop in feed intake, changes in rumen motility, colostrum-like thickened milk, or sudden drop in herd level milk production.