Government of Canada announces changes to humane transport requirements under the Health of Animals Regulations
February 20, 2019, Ottawa, ON
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) understands the importance of the health and wellbeing of animals to Canadians and the Canadian economy. Today marks an important achievement with the publication of amendments to the Health of Animals Regulations (Part XII) on animal transportation.
The amendments are the product of extensive consultations with farm groups, transporters, members of the public and interested groups, which resulted in an unprecedented number of responses to the CFIA's proposals. They also take into account the latest research on animal transportation and international standards. By establishing clear and science-informed requirements, the regulations better reflect the needs of animals and improve overall animal welfare in Canada.
These new, stronger regulations include both prescriptive and outcome-based requirements that emphasize and improve the health and wellbeing of the animals during the entire transportation process. The amendments will also increase consumer confidence, strengthen Canada's international trade status and facilitate market access.
The overall objective is that animals arrive at their destination safely, and are suitably fed, hydrated and rested. These amendments go beyond transport journey times to cover the full time an animal is prepared for transit to the time they are installed in their new location. The new regulations are more detailed with respect to the different needs of different types of animals and specify intervals for transporters to provide food, water and rest.
Everyone involved in the transportation of animals in Canada must comply with the Health of Animals Act and the amended regulations. The CFIA will be providing guidance to industry to help them comply with the new regulations. If non-compliance is found, the CFIA will use a range of enforcement and compliance tools available to take action.
The new regulations will come into effect in February 2020. This one-year transition will allow the animal transport industry to prepare for the amended regulations before they are enforced.
"As a veterinarian, I am happy to say that Canada has improved the well-being of animals during the entire transportation process. The changes to the humane transport regulations better align Canada's requirements with international partners (for example the United States, Australia and the European Union), as well as the OIE's animal welfare standards for animals transported by land, air and sea."
- Dr. Jaspinder Komal, Canada's Chief Veterinary Officer
Over 51,000 comments (from over 11,000 respondents) were received during extensive consultations with the public, producers, veterinarians, industry and international organizations, animal advocacy groups, transporters, researches, law groups and others.
The CFIA verifies compliance with humane transportation requirements at various locations, including auction markets and other assembly points, slaughter facilities, border crossings into Canada and roadside inspections.
Approximately 98% of shipments are already in compliance with the new food, water and rest requirements.
The CFIA releases a publicly available quarterly report of the number of non-compliance infractions and the administrative monetary penalties that were issued.
Canadian Food Inspection Agency
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