Requirements for Non-Human Primates Imported into Canada

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AHPD-DSAE-IE-2009-1-2
November 5, 2009

Amendments:

General Requirements:

  • In Numbers 3 and 4, a few additions were made

Purpose for Importation - Requirements:

  • In Number 4, sections Import Requirements and Post-Import Requirements are new

Appendix I and II:

  • Pre-Export B(2) have been revised

"Non-Human primates" refers to all species of animals under the order Primate that are not members of the genus Homo. The order Primate is generally divided into three main groupings: prosimians, monkeys of the New World, and monkeys and apes of the Old World.

In this document for the purpose of assessment for importation, the risk of carrying zoonotic disease is associated with the taxonomic position and the region of origin of the species concerned. The risk increases from prosimians to marmosets and tamarins then to other New World monkeys and then to Old World monkeys and apes. The risk of carrying zoonotic agents is also greater in non-human primates that are imported from non-controlled environments, rather than for captive-bred animals that have been maintained in premises under veterinary supervision. The import conditions outlined in this document are based upon whether the non-human primates to be imported are classed as a common or uncommon species, the environment the animals originate, and the purpose of the importation.

Definitions

Common species:
marmosets, tamarins, primates from the family Cebidae (owl, howler, cebus, spider, woolly, capuchin, squirrel monkey, etc.) and from the sub-family Cercopithecinae (macaques, baboons, African green, patas monkey, etc.).
Uncommon species:
Prosimians, tarsiers, primates from the sub-family Colobinae (colobus), the sub-family Hylobatidae (gibbons, siamangs) and from the sub-family Hominidae (gorilla, chimpanzee and orangutan).
Animals from premises under veterinary supervision:
non-human primates that were born or have been kept for at least two (2) years on premises where animals are individually identified and there is complete documentation of the clinical history of each animal (including vaccinations, treatments, tests and pathologies) and the group of origin is available. The premises are under permanent veterinary supervision that is recognized by the authorities of the exporting country.
Animals from an uncontrolled environment:
animals that were captured directly from a natural range of the animal species and imported less than two (2) years after capture where only limited health guarantees can be supported.

General Requirements

1. All non-human primates presented for entry into Canada require an Import Permit issued by a Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) office prior to the arrival of the animals at a point of entry to Canada (under Section 12.(1)(a) of the Health of Animals Regulations).

2. The required Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) permits must also be presented at the time of import for any non-human primate.

All non-human primate species are included in Appendix I or Appendix II under the CITES, which sets controls on the international trade and movement of animal and plant species that have been, or may be, threatened due to commercial activity. In order to import an Appendix II listed primate into Canada, an export permit issued by the exporting country government is required. If the species is listed in Appendix I under CITES, a CITES import permit issued by Canada is also required in addition to the permit from the exporting country. CITES permits for Canada are issued through Environment Canada, Canadian Wildlife Services, and they should be contacted for definitive answers and CITES permits at:

Management Authority
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)
Canadian Wildlife Service
Environment Canada
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0H3

Telephone: 1-800-668-6767 (toll-free number) / 819-997-1840 (National Capital Region)

3. Non-human primates imported into Canada must be permanently and uniquely identified with a device or method applied in the country of origin using approved humane methods that avoid disease transmission.

Identification may be by one of the following methods:

  1. a tamper-resistant ear tag or devise where applicable for use in the species
  2. a unique alpha numeric tattoo in an ear or a body location applicable to the species
  3. electronic identification, implanted microchip or a radio frequency identification (RFID) tag.

4. Imported non-human primates must be accompanied by an international veterinary health certificate issued by an official veterinarian of the country of origin or a certificate of a veterinarian licensed in the country of origin and endorsed by an official veterinarian of the country of origin.

The certificate must contain the name and address of the consignor, the location from where the animals are exported, and the name and address of the consignee.

The certificate must also clearly identify the animal and show that the animal was inspected by a veterinarian on the day of shipment from the premises of origin and found to be healthy, free from clinical signs of contagious disease and fit for transport.

The required certificate must attest to any pre-export requirements specified in this document.

Purpose for Importation - Requirements

1. Personal Importation (for breeding or pet purposes)

Personal importation for breeding or pet purposes is Prohibited from any country due to public health concerns and zoonotic disease potential.

2. Show or Movies (from the United States only)

Non-human primates may be imported for show or movie purposes from the United States. Before an import permit can be issued, a case-by-case evaluation is required to establish if importation can be approved and conditions of quarantine developed with applicable safeguards.

Animals must be resident in the United States without restriction for a minimum of sixty (60) days before they can be considered for import to Canada. Importation of non-human primates for show or movie purposes from any country other than the United States is Prohibited.

3. Zoological Display or Exhibition

Import permits will only be issued for this purpose to facilities that are accredited under the "Canadian Association of Zoos and Aquariums" program.

A. Common Species of Non-human Primates from Premises Under Veterinary Supervision - Zoological Display or Exhibition

The animals must originate from a recognized zoo or an approved wildlife park. The animals must be individually identified with unique approved identification. All relevant records, including details of vaccinations, tests and treatments performed during the lifetime of the animal must be attached to the export documentation.

Pre-Export and Post-Import Conditions are explained in Appendix I of this policy.

B. Common Species from an Uncontrolled Environment
Uncommon Species from all Environments - Zoological Display or Exhibition

Importation for zoo or exhibition purposes of an uncommon species of non-human primate or of an animal from an uncontrolled environment could be considered if a joint evaluation and risk assessment has been made by Health Canada and the CFIA, and the importation has been deemed to be low-risk.

Pre-Export and Post-Import Conditions are explained in Appendix II of this policy.

4. Research Purposes

A. Common Species from the United States - Research Purposes

A common species of non-human primate may be imported into Canada from the United States for research purposes provided the following conditions are met when applying for an import permit.

The importing laboratory must demonstrate that they are a laboratory currently in good standing with the Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC). A copy of the certificate of Good Animal Practice issued by the CCAC must be provided to the CFIA before the issuance of the import permit. (A copy of the certificate must accompany the permit application.) Any change in this status must be immediately reported to the CFIA.

Import Requirements

The animals must be accompanied by the appropriate international health certificate which includes the individual and unique identification for each animal in the shipment. Certification must document import into the United States that meets or exceeds the Pre-Export conditions in Appendix I. Documentation must include information on the quarantine period, the tests conducted and release from quarantine, as well as copies of any individual health and test records for each animal in the shipment.

A residency period in the United States after release from quarantine is not required. Animals may proceed to Canada using the tests performed during the quarantine period or on tests performed within the preceding twelve (12) months period while residing in facilities in the U.S.

The level of testing within the preceding twelve (12) months of import must meet or exceed that required in Appendix I - Pre-Export Conditions.

Supplemental information must be attached to the international health certificate that documents the quarantine period and release from quarantine for animals not born in the United States. The supplemental information must also include a summary of health records for the tests and treatments performed during quarantine and residency while in the U.S. or during the life of U.S. born primates for each animal in the shipment.

Post-Import Requirements

Verification of identification and health after arrival at destination facility.

There are no further post-import requirements provided the animals remain at the approved import facility for the remainder of their life.

B. Common Species from Countries other than the United States, from Premises Under Veterinary Supervision - Research Purposes

A common species of non-human primate from a premises under veterinary supervision may be imported into Canada from any country other than the United States for research purposes provided the facility meets the criteria for import from the United States in Section 4.A above and submits the required documentation at the time of application for import permit.

Pre-Export and Post-Import Conditions are included in Appendix I of this policy.

C. Common Species from Uncontrolled Environment
Uncommon Species from all Environments - Research Purposes

Importation for research purposes of an uncommon species of non-human primate or of animals from an uncontrolled environment may be considered if a joint evaluation and risk assessment has been made by Health Canada and the CFIA, and if the importation has been deemed to be low-risk.

Pre-Export and Post-Import Conditions are explained in Appendix II of this policy.

5. In Transit Through Canada

A. Common Species from Premises Under Veterinary Supervision

Common species of non-human primates from premises under veterinary supervision may transit through Canada by air only to their final destination. In-transit movement through Canada by ground transportation is prohibited except for animals of United States origin that have been released from quarantine.

The in-transit movement of non-human primates through Canada does require an Import Permit issued by the CFIA authorizing the activity. The animals will not be allowed to transit through Canada unless accompanied by a valid CITES permit, a copy of which must be provided when applying for an import permit.

The animals must not be off-loaded at any point of transit unless appropriate facilities and staff are available to oversee the process and the purpose is for changing planes. The activity must be authorized by the import permit and the CFIA Area Import specialist will make the decision on whether off-loading can be accommodated for the purpose of changing planes.

The animals must arrive with veterinary certification that they are fit to be transported without undue suffering by reason of infirmity, illness, injury, fatigue or other cause during the expected journey. The animals must also be accompanied by a declaration issued by the certifying veterinarian or shipper in the country of origin stating that the transportation is in accordance with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) live animal regulations approved by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). Where applicable, the shipment must not include animals that are likely to give birth during transportation. Young animals being shipped without their dam must have been fully weaned prior to shipment.

B. Uncommon Species from all Environments
Common Species from an Uncontrolled Environment

The issuance of an import permit for the in-transit movement of an uncommon species of non-human primate or of animals from an uncontrolled environment may be considered if a joint evaluation and risk assessment has been made by Health Canada and the CFIA, and if the importation has been deemed to be low-risk.

Appendix I

Conditions for Import

  • Common Species of Non-Human Primates from Premises Under Veterinary Supervision, Imported for the Purposes of Zoological Display or Exhibition
  • Common Species from Countries other than the United States from Premises Under Veterinary Supervision, Imported for Research Purposes

Pre-Export

A. Each animal to be exported must be placed in isolation from other non-human primates not of the same health status for at least thirty (30) days immediately prior to export and during this time must remain free from signs of communicable diseases.

B. During the isolation:

  1. The animals to be exported must be tested with negative results for tuberculosis using preferably mammalian old tuberculin (MOT); where not available, the preferred option is the Mantoux test with human PPD (tuberculin purified protein derivative) of the highest possible concentration.

    For marmosets and tamarins, one test must be administered during the thirty (30) days' isolation prior to export using the abdominal skin as the test site.

    For other common species, two (2) tests at least two (2) weeks apart must be administered during the thirty (30) days' isolation prior to export using the eyelid as the test site.

    (Animals imported from the United States are exempt from the tuberculosis testing requirements provided that the unconditional release from quarantine in the United States can be documented.)

  2. The animals to be exported must have microbiological faecal culture with negative results for Salmonella, Shigella and Yersinia.
  3. The animals to be exported must be tested with negative results for endoparasites.
  4. The animals to be exported must be treated for endo and ectoparasites using the treatment appropriate to the non-human primate species. Anti-protozoan treatment must also be performed for a minimum of two (2) weeks.

Post-Import

A. The animals being presented for importation must be quarantined in a minimum-level quarantine facility for at least thirty (30) days or a longer period of time as necessary to complete the testing and treatment required post-import.

B. During the quarantine the imported animals must be tested with negative results for tuberculosis using the mammalian old tuberculin (MOT) prepared and used in accordance with the product monograph for non-human primates.

  • For marmosets and tamarins, one test must be done at least seventy-two (72) hours after arrival using the abdominal skin as the test site.
  • For other common species, two (2) tests at least two (2) weeks apart, must be done, with the first test performed at least seventy-two (72) hours post arrival using the eyelid as the test site.
  • In the case of Macaca and other Cercopithecine species, the use of serological tests methods in addition to the required intradermal tuberculin test are recommended to increase the sensitivity of screening for tuberculosis.
  • (U.S. animals are exempt if pre-export conditions are met.)

C. The following are recommendations to be carried out in the post-import quarantine period at the discretion of the importer:

  1. testing by culture of fresh faeces or rectal swabs for pathogenic enteric bacteria including Salmonella, Shigella, Yersinia and Campylobacter jejuni with treatment for positive samples if deemed necessary; and
  2. testing for ectoparasites and endoparasites with treatment appropriate to the non-human primate species for parasite(s) identified.

D. All animals are to be monitored daily and any unusual illness or mortality must be immediately reported to the CFIA. A post-mortem examination is required for all animals that die during the quarantine period.

E. All staff exposed to non-human primates must follow the precautionary measures as outlined in the OIE Terrestrial Animal Health Code, Chapter 6.11 and the Program Specific guidelines outlined in the current version of Health Canada's Laboratory Biosafety Guidelines.

F. No animals may be removed from their respective quarantine premises until released by an inspector designated under the Health of Animals Act. On completion of quarantine with negative results on all tests, the animals will be released to the importer and may be taken to the premises of destination listed on the import permit.

G. The non-human primates imported must not be removed from the premises of destination listed on the import permit even after the animals have been released from post-entry quarantine unless written authorization is obtained from the CFIA.

Appendix II

Conditions for Import

  • Common Species from an Uncontrolled Environment
  • Uncommon Species from All Environments Imported for the Purposes of Zoological Display or Exhibition, or for Research Purposes

Pre-Export

A. Each animal to be exported must be placed in isolation from other primates not of the same health status for at least thirty (30) days immediately prior to export and during the time must remain free from signs of communicable diseases.

B. During the isolation:

  1. The animals to be exported must be tested with negative results for tuberculosis using preferably mammalian old tuberculin (MOT); where not available, the preferred option is the Mantoux test with human PPD (tuberculin purified protein derivative) of the highest possible concentration.

    For marmosets and tamarins, one test must be done during the thirty (30) days' isolation prior to export using the abdominal skin as the test site.

    For other species, two (2) tests, two (2) weeks apart must be done during the thirty (30) days' isolation prior to export using the eyelid as the test site.

  2. The animals to be exported must have microbiological faecal culture with negative results for Salmonella, Shigella and Yersinia.
  3. Gibbons and great apes must be tested for hepatitis B by antibody detection to confirm immunity from vaccination or previous infection. In the absence of antibody detection, antigen testing is to be conducted to determine that the animal is not carrying virus that could be spread to others at the time of import.
  4. The animals to be exported must be tested with negative results for endoparasites.
  5. The animals to be exported must be treated for endo and ectoparasites using the treatment appropriate to the non-human primate species. Anti-protozoan treatment should also be performed for a minimum of two (2) weeks.

Animals housed in approved zoological facilities in the United States and under veterinary supervision may have medical records submitted for consideration of modification of required pre-export conditions if the tests described in (1) to (5) above have been part of a routine screening program.

Post-Import

A. The animals being presented for importation must be quarantined in a medium-level quarantine facility, for at least ninety (90) days or a longer period of time as necessary to complete the testing and treatment required post-import.

B. During the quarantine, the imported animals must be tested with negative results for tuberculosis using preferable mammalian old tuberculin (MOT), prepared and used in accordance with the product monograph for non-human primates.

  • For prosimians, New World monkeys, Old World monkeys, gibbons and great apes, at least two (2) tests, at an interval of four (4) weeks using the eyelid must be done.
  • In some species (e.g. orangutan apes) where skin tests for tuberculosis could have a high incidence of false positive results, comparative tests using both mammalian and avian PPD, radiography and gamma interferon tests may be considered to determine status.

C. The following are recommendations to be carried out in the post-import quarantine period at the discretion of the importer:

  1. Gibbons and great apes should be tested for hepatitis B by antibody detection to confirm immunity from vaccination or previous infection. In the absence of antibody detection, antigen testing to determine that the animal is not carrying virus that can be spread to others.
  2. Testing by culture of fresh faeces or rectal swabs should be done for pathogenic enteric bacteria including Salmonella, Shigella, Yersinia and Campylobacter jejuni with treatment for positive samples if deemed necessary.
  3. Testing for ectoparasites and endoparasites should be done with treatment appropriate to the non-human primate species for parasite(s) identified.

D. All animals are to be monitored daily and any unusual illness or mortality must be immediately reported to the CFIA. A post-mortem examination is required for all animals that die during the quarantine period.

E. All staff exposed to non-human primates must follow the precautionary measures as outlined in the OIE Terrestrial Animal Health Code, Chapter 6.11, and the program-specific guidelines outlined in the current version of Health Canada's Laboratory Biosafety Guidelines.

F. No animals may be removed from their respective quarantine premises until released by an inspector designated under the Health of Animals Act. On completion of quarantine with negative results on all tests, the animals will be released to the importer and may be taken to the premises of destination listed on the import permit.

G. The non-human primates imported must not be removed from the premises of destination listed on the import permit even after the animals have been released from post-entry quarantine unless written authorization is obtained from the CFIA.

Addendum

1) Importers should recognize the public health importance of other zoonoses such as measles, hepatitis A, monkey pox, Marburg disease or Ebola, etc. Detection of a serious communicable or zoonotic disease in an import shipment of non-human primates may result in control action being taken if deemed appropriate by the CFIA and/or Health Canada.

2) Even though the post-import quarantine protocol does not require specific testing or treatment protocols for various bacterial, viral or parasitic diseases, these agents should be considered by the importer and they should recognize that, if animals are infected, the spread of such agents will be best controlled by detection during the quarantine period.

3) There are some viral zoonoses, e.g. Herpes B, for which current diagnostic testing is not reliable. All imported macaques should be considered as infected with Herpes B virus and managed accordingly. For others - for example, other herpes viruses or retroviruses, which can be latent, producing lifelong infections in some species - the diagnosis and exclusion of such infected animals may not be possible for the purposes of importation.

4) The precautions described in the OIE Terrestrial Animal Health Code, Chapter 6.11, Article 6.11.7 should be strictly applied when handling such non-human primates in order to protect human health and safety.

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