Information for the General Public
The transportation of animals is regulated to prevent injury or suffering in all animals.
Which laws govern the humane transportation of animals?
Provincial governments have the primary responsibility for protecting the welfare of animals, including farm animals.
The federal government is responsible for regulating the humane transport of animals. Part XII of the Health of Animals Regulations defines the conditions for humanely transporting all animals in Canada by all modes of transport.
The regulations prohibit the
- overcrowding of animals
- transporting of animals that are unfit for transport
- loading, transporting or unloading of animals in a way that could cause injury or suffering
The regulations also establish the requirements for
- providing food, water, and rest at specific intervals;
- protecting animals from adverse weather;
- providing adequate ventilation;
- using proper containers and transport vehicles; and
- segregating incompatible animals.
Officials of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) monitor compliance with the regulations by
- doing routine inspection at strategic locations, such as at points of entry to Canada, and at registered establishments, auction markets, assembly yards and roadside blitzes; and
- following up on reports of non-compliance.
Attention: What you can do
If you believe you have witnessed someone who is not following the regulations regarding loading, unloading and transporting animals (such as rough handling, inadequate weather protection, or overcrowding), do the following:
Do the regulations include all aspects of transportation?
The Health of Animals Regulations
- come into effect when the animal is loaded for transport; and
- continue throughout its time in transit, including refuelling periods and market auction stays.
The regulations apply until the animal is unloaded at its final destination.
What else does the Canadian Food Inspection Agency do to protect farm animals?
The CFIA works closely with the provinces, territories and all stakeholders in the animal care community when animal welfare issues are identified.
The CFIA's Transportation of Animals Program establishes the requirements for the protection of all species of animals during transportation.
CFIA inspectors verify that humane slaughter requirements are respected in all federally registered establishments.
- CFIA's Prosecution Bulletins
- CFIA's Administrative Monetary Penalties
- Recommended Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Farm Animals
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