By Pacific Island Times News Staff
Effective immediately, the Guam Department of Agriculture's Animal Health Division will allow the entry of poultry but will require avian influenza testing within 14 days of travel for all birds arriving directly from the U.S. mainland.
The agency has reinstated the modified live poultry entry requirements from the mainland U.S. due to highly pathogenic avian influenza.
Since January 2022, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has been responding to an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza, causing the loss of millions of birds and hundreds of millions of eggs.
Because of Guam’s limited ability to respond to an outbreak of this caliber, the local agriculture department has adopted a strict border protection policy by implementing a ban when cases surged.
A ban on all live poultry imports and hatching eggs from the mainland was placed on Nov. 29, 2023, when a large spike of over 8 million birds were affected.
Fortunately, the latest surge was short-lived and the number of birds affected has subsided dramatically, significantly decreasing the risk of importing poultry from the mainland.
“The avian influenza outbreak situation in the mainland United States has proven to be dynamic, persistent and only somewhat predictable, requiring that we closely monitor the situation daily," said Dr. Mariana Turner, territorial veterinarian.
"We have hit a lull in cases at the moment, but we keep our eye on the horizon for any future surges, especially as we hit the spring months when migratory birds that harbor the disease are on the move," she added.
The Animal Health Division reminded potential customers that those residing in a residential area are allowed to keep a maximum of 20 birds.