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Importation of Pet Birds from Countries Other than the United States

Also see: Pet Birds from the United States

For import purposes, the expression pet bird means a personally owned and cared for bird, and applies only to species commonly known as caged birds such as psittacines (birds in the parrot family), song birds, toucans, canaries, finches, cardinals, etc. The expression does not apply to pigeons, doves, species of wild or domesticated fowl, or game birds.

  • Restrictions related to avian influenza:
    The importation of pet birds from certain countries has been suspended due to highly pathogenic avian influenza (bird flu).  To inquire as to which countries are affected by this change, please contact the CFIA Office in your area.
  • Bird owners traveling to Mexico by land, through the United States:
    Due to the fact that most of Mexico is not considered to be free of Newcastle Disease, birds returning to Canada from Mexico cannot enter back into the United States by land. Alternative arrangements must be made, prior to departure. For more details on re-entry into Canada, please contact your local CFIA Office.

An import permit issued by the CFIA Area Office must accompany the bird(s). Before issuance can be considered, you must: 

1. Contact the appropriate Import Officer, request an application form, complete the form, and forward it to the regional office with an originally signed declaration of the following:

  1. that the birds have been in your personal possession, in the country of origin, for the 90 days immediately prior to applying for the import permit (proof of ownership must be provided);
  2. that the birds have not been in contact with any other birds while in your possession;
  3. that neither you nor members of your family have imported pet birds into Canada during the preceding 90 days; and
  4. that you will personally accompany the birds from the country of origin to Canada.

Note: In the case of the importation of a bird less than three (3) days old, you must declare that you have been in possession of the mother and father for the 90 days preceding the birth of the imported bird and that both the bird's parents have the same health status. If you cannot meet these conditions, the importation of the birds less than three (3) days old is prohibited.

2. Arrange for the inspection and approval of your proposed Canadian premises for the quarantine of the birds. To arrange for the inspection of your premises, you should contact the CFIA Area Import Office in the province into which you are going to reside.

Upon receipt of the above information and a report approving your premises for the quarantine of the birds, the office will be in a position to consider issuance of the import permit.

The essential conditions under which such birds are permitted to enter Canada are:

  1. the original import permit issued by the regional office must accompany the birds to Canada;
  2. the birds must be accompanied by its owner (the person to whom they personally belong) for their entry into Canada and cannot be shipped unaccompanied; and
  3. during the quarantine period, which is a minimum of 45 days, it is recommended that the owners treat their birds for psittacosis-ornithosis.

Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES)

It is the importer's responsibility to determine whether the species for importation is subject to the controls imposed by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), which are administered by the Canadian Wildlife Service. Please contact the Canadian Wildlife Service for information.

Comments or requests for additional information.