Chapter 19 – Poultry Inspection Programs
19.3 Ante Mortem Inspection/examination

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19.3.1 Introduction

An ante mortem examination/inspection within 24 hours preceding slaughter in a registered establishment is a mandatory requirement under the MIR. It is the operator's responsibility to ensure that only those flocks that have received ante mortem examination are permitted to proceed to the slaughter floor.

19.3.1.1 Objectives

Ante mortem inspection/examination serves the following purposes:

  • to identify flocks showing clear evidence of being affected with a disease or condition that could render the carcass unfit for human consumption;
  • to identify flocks representing a threat to the health of personnel handling the carcasses;
  • to identify suspect flocks that require segregation and separate slaughter;
  • to identify flocks which are suspected of having been treaded with antibiotics or other chemotherapeutic agents;
  • to identify flocks that may result in heavily contaminated carcasses during the evisceration operations;
  • to identify flocks suspected of having a reportable or exotic disease;
  • to make a disposition regarding the suitability of flocks for slaughter; and
  • to identify flocks requiring special handling for humane reasons.

The information obtained at ante mortem is recorded on CFIA/ACIA 5476 form.

19.3.2 Ante mortem Procedures

Additional responsibilities related to care and handling of food animals by industry stakeholders are to be found in Chapter 12 of this Manual.

19.3.2.1 Plant Operators' Responsibilities

The plant operator must:

  • perform an ante mortem examination within 24 hours preceding slaughter of all loads of live poultry, whether of domestic or foreign origin (see below for screening procedure). Provision for comprehensive ante mortem screening and examination shall be incorporated into the operator's HACCP Program;
  • review the submitted Flock Sheet (MOP 19.3.4.2.4.1) and trucker report/log for each individual lot. A designated employee shall review the flock sheet for completeness and accuracy;

    Note: Should there be any concerns, omissions, or inaccuracies on the Flock Sheet about the health of the flock, or medication withdrawal, extra-label usage of medications or food additives, the plant shall confer with the producer and correct the deviations. The VIC shall be contacted for advice, if there are any concerns regarding mortality, disease or drug usage. In the event of extra label drug use, the producer, through the plant operator, shall provide the VIC with documentation certifying that the gFARAD established withdrawal time has been respected (flock sheet, signed prescription, gFARAD reference number) (MOP 19.3.4.4);

  • conduct an examination of a sample of crated animals for general flock health, on each truckload of animals arriving at live receiving. The examination is performed on shipping crates/cages on the vehicle or unloaded into a staging area. Photographs, testimonials and records may be collected at this time by designated plant personnel to document any deviations, as per operator Standard Operating Procedures (SOP).
  • record each ante mortem examination (including time, findings, appropriate corrective actions if indicated and signature);

    Note: Photographs should preferably have a label within the picture stating the date, time, location and the identity of the particular flock implicated (producer name, barn number, lot number);

  • immediately notify the CFIA veterinarian should animals arriving at the plant display any signs of stress, injury, abnormal behaviour, disease symptoms or elevated levels of Dead on Arrivals (DOAs).

19.3.2.2 CFIA Responsibilities

CFIA ante mortem inspection of poultry has three components:

  • a review of the advanced copy of the flock sheets for each scheduled lot by a CFIA veterinarian;
  • a review by a CFIA veterinarian of the flock sheets (before or during the processing of the lot) accompanying each lot along with the trucker's logs (when available); and
  • an inspection by a CFIA veterinarian and/or a designated CFIA inspector of birds in shipping crates either on the transport vehicle or in the staging area, in addition to, birds suspended in shackles on the line moving towards the stunning facilities. In order to detect a condition with a 1% prevalence and with a 95% confidence level in a lot of about 10,000 birds, it is recommended that approximately 300 birds be inspected by the veterinarian;

An ante mortem records is completed, signed and maintained for each ante mortem inspection; (see CFIA Ante mortem Records in Annex A).

Note: The review by a CFIA veterinarian of the flock sheets accompanying each lot, and the inspection by a CFIA veterinarian and/or a designated CFIA inspector of live birds, are normally performed prior to the hanging of the birds and prior to the processing of a lot during the normal working hours of the CFIA veterinarians. However considering the verification role adopted by CFIA under mandatory HACCP, it must be acknowledged that it could take place after the beginning of the processing of a lot, for example in the case of the first lot in the morning upon the arrival of the CFIA veterinarian. It is also accepted that designated CFIA inspectors could be assigned to perform the review of final flock sheets and/or live ante mortem inspection until the arrival and/or availability of a CFIA veterinarian.

  • determine if immediate slaughter is required for humane reasons, or, if a disease is suspected, if the flock should be held and tested or slaughtered. Should the CFIA veterinarian suspect a Foreign Animal Disease (FAD), the operator-specific FAD Contingency Plan will go into effect.

19.3.3 Procedures Due to Special Circumstances

19.3.3.1 Suspect, Reactor and Condemned Flocks

Suspect and/or reactor flock crate(s) should be tagged and an ante mortem examination report (CFIA/ACIA 1438) is to be completed giving particulars such as description, identification of flock, details of findings, owner's name, address, etc.

19.3.3.1.1 Suspect Flocks

It is imperative that all suspect flocks be properly identified throughout the slaughter process, i.e., from the live bird receiving room to the final inspection station. Except for immediate slaughter for humane reasons, it is necessary to schedule suspects for separate slaughter, preferably at the end of the regular kill. This minimizes disruption of operations.

19.3.3.1.2 Reactor Flocks

In the case of identified reactors, ante mortem inspection shall be performed while these birds are held in segregation.

All reactors shall be slaughtered separately and apart from the regular kill, and the identity of the flock must be carefully preserved throughout the dressing operation. It is preferable to slaughter reactors at the end of day's kill.

19.3.3.1.3 Flocks Condemned on Ante Mortem Inspection

All flocks condemned on ante mortem inspection shall be identified by a tag or other device showing the word "condemned". In addition, full details (flock identification, owner's name and address, reason for condemnation), should be entered on the ante mortem examination report (CFIA/ACIA 1438).

Following condemnation, birds are to be stunned, killed and removed to the inedible section of the establishment.

Condemned birds and birds which are found dead are not permitted to pass through the evisceration floor or other edible areas of the establishment.

19.3.3.2 Cleaning and Disinfection

Slaughter floor, equipment, yards, etc., which have been used to hold or move suspect, reactor or condemned flocks, are to be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected, as judged to be necessary by the Veterinarian in Charge.

Trucks and crates used to convey birds for slaughter are to be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected under the supervision of an inspector.

19.3.4 Flock Sheets: Producers/Processors Information Exchange

19.3.4.1 Introduction

The flock sheet provides the processor with the necessary level of confidence that identified potential chemical and biological hazards associated with live domestic poultry have been considered, and to the extent possible, controlled and/or prevented at the farm level and/or during transportation. This section covers both minimal information requirements to be maintained by the processing establishment and those to be provided by the producers. Flock sheet data allows CFIA staff to judge if the operator is taking the necessary preventive measures to evaluate incoming flocks according to the written specifications contained in their HACCP system.

The MIR provide a regulatory basis for the mandatory submission and the enforcement thereof of ante mortem information for all shipments of live poultry (excluding ostriches, rheas and emus) received at a registered establishment. The regulations will facilitate auditing of the information on submitted flock sheets and the implementation of on-farm HACCP-consistent programs as developed by national producer associations.

A standardized flock sheet for chickens, turkeys and fowl has been developed on a national basis by the following organizations:

  • Chicken Farmers of Canada
  • Canadian Turkey Marketing Agency
  • Canadian Egg Marketing Agency
  • Canadian Broiler Hatching Egg Marketing Agency

A copy of the current standardized flock sheet could be obtained from the respective provincial chicken and/or turkey marketing boards where as plant is located. This standardized copy also applicable to spent broiler breeder flocks, geese, pheasants, quail etc. For other classes of birds, abattoir operators should develop a customized version by either using the flock sheets designed for chicken and turkey as templates or by developing their own provided they contain all the requisite information.

19.3.4.2 Flock Sheets for Chickens and Turkeys

19.3.4.2.1 Information to be Provided by the Producer (or Grower)

Before shipping live birds for the first time to a slaughter establishment, a producer must provide the processor with the name, address and telephone number(s) of the veterinary service(s) servicing their operation. Producers must advise processors of any changes.

  • (1) Name and address of the producer and/or individual permanent code;
  • (2) Barn number/farm identification;
  • (3) Identification of the lotFootnote 1/ flock number

Existing codes issued by the local marketing boards shall be used for the above-mentioned three items.

  • (4) Types of vaccines administered at the hatchery level;
  • (5) Number of chicks/poults placed (including extras), date of placement;
  • (6) Mortality rate (%), e.g., # dead birds during the growth period in the barn or in a specific lot. Formula: [(Item 5 − Item 14)÷(Item 5) × 100];
  • (7) Growing set-up for turkeys (outside or inside);
  • (8) All vaccines used/all non-feed medications used (including dates) for which a withdrawal time applies;
  • (9) All feed medications (for which a withdrawal time applies) used in the last two (2) feed rations for turkey, and in the last feed ration for chicken;
  • (10) Outstanding incidents, disease outbreaks (including those necessitating a medical treatment) during the growth period, e.g., respiratory problems, diarrhea, etc.;
  • (11) Origin of animal feed stuffs: i.e., whether the feed was mixed "on-farm" or commercial, and in the latter case, specify if pelletized or loose (mashed); and
  • (12) Time (hour : minute) feeders were lifted. Expected time of slaughter and resulting anticipated length of time of feed withdrawal (based on when feeders were lifted and anticipated time of slaughter) as per processor specifications.

Unless information contained in items (1) to (11) are received in a timely manner, processors shall not schedule the pickup of the birds.

19.3.4.2.2 Information to be Provided by the Lead Catcher and/or Carrier:

  • (13) Starting and finishing times of bird catching (hour : minutes) on a truck basis;
  • (14) Number of birds being shipped; and
  • (15) Number of crates on the load and the floor surface area of each crate (type of crate may be sufficient for operator purposes).

19.3.4.2.3 Information to be Provided by the Processor and/or Collated in the Growers' Profile:

  • (16) Average bird weight (calculated from the truck weight filled minus the truck weight empty divided by number of birds received);
  • (17) Beginning of bird unloading (hour : minutes) on a truck basis;
  • (18) Number of dead on arrival (DOA) (# of DOAs on a truck basis);
  • (19) Condemnation rate (% for conditions related to the farm level) and benchmarking data to determine lot ranking of total rejections vs. 12 month total rejection average at this establishment (updated every 6 months) for same weight category; and
  • (20) Condemnation type (% for a minimum of the three most frequent conditions related to the farm level) and rate (%) of condemned portions for the three to five preceding lots (if recorded), e.g., # kg of parts condemned/# kg processed.

19.3.4.2.4 Steps for the Submission of Information to the Processor by the Producer

Flock sheets shall be submitted according to the following sequence.

19.3.4.2.4.1 Advance Copy

A partially filled "advance" copy shall be sent 3-4 days prior to catching. This copy shall contain the information described in items (1) to (11).

Two (2) days prior to processing, the processor (operator) shall contact the producer (farmer) and provide him/her with the planned catching time and the planned processing time in order to maximize the feed withdrawal process and minimize the contamination during evisceration. At that time, if the advance copy has not been received by the processor, the operator must inform the farmer that the catching crew cannot be scheduled until an advance copy is received by the processor.

19.3.4.2.4.2 Completed Copy

A fully completed copy, including the signed attestation and the signature at the time of loading by the producer, shall accompany the birds at the time of shipment.

When multiple truckloads are transported to the same processor, only one flock sheet is required and it should accompany the first load.

When shipments from one barn are to be sent to different processing plants, each processing plant shall receive an advance copy and a completed version of the flock sheet. This also applies to "trade-in" shipments.

When barns are not emptied all at the same time and various sections/floors are not submitted to the same feed withdrawal protocol, different flock sheets shall be filled for each shipment.

If a flock arrives at the slaughtering establishment without a completed flock sheet, the processor shall immediately contact the producer who will be requested to immediately supply the missing information. The Veterinarian in Charge shall be notified and the flock rescheduled for slaughter pending receipt of the missing information.

If the producer cannot be contacted or if the producer refuses to provide the missing information, the processor shall inform the producer that the birds will be slaughtered subject to the following subsection titled "Enforcement Actions by the CFIA for Missing or Incomplete Flock Sheets".

19.3.4.3 Flock Sheets for Spent Hens or Culled Breeders

In the case of mature poultry (spent chicken or turkey hens or culled breeders), the following subsection outlines the information that must be provided with each lot prior to slaughter for review by the processor and the Veterinarian in Charge. All applicable information (items 9, 14, 16 and 17) must be entered into the computerized database by the operator.

With respect to live imports from the US, it is required that a similar flock sheet and the ante mortem information contained in items (1) to (17) be made available to the Veterinarian in Charge and the evisceration manager with each incoming flock as well as a declaration from US producers regarding the disease free status for each imported flock.

19.3.4.3.1 Information to be Provided by the Producer of Spent Hens or Culled Breeders

Before shipping live birds for the first time to a slaughter establishment, a producer must provide the processor with the name, address and telephone number(s) of the veterinary service(s) servicing their operation. Producers must advise processors of any changes.

  • (1) Name and address of the producer and/or individual permanent code;
  • (2) Barn number/farm identification;
  • (3) Identification of the lotFootnote 2/flock number.

Existing codes issued by the local marketing boards should be used for the three (3) items for domestic fowl listed above.

  • (4) Age of the birds in weeks;
  • (5) All vaccines used (including dates) since the pullets were placed within the egg production barns at approximately 20 weeks of age and;
  • (6) All feed and water medications used in the last 120 days;
  • (7) Outstanding incidents, disease outbreaks (including those necessitating a medical treatment) during the laying period; and
  • (8) Suggested catching time by the processor and last feeding time or feed removal (day : hour : minute) prior to loading;

Unless information contained in items (1) to (7) is received in a timely manner, it is recommended that processors not schedule the pickup of the birds.

19.3.4.3.2 Information to be Provided by the Lead Catcher and/or Carrier of Spent Hens or Culled Breeders

  • (9) Starting and ending times of bird catching (day : hour : minute) on a truck basis;
  • (10) Number of birds being shipped; and
  • (11) Number of crates on the load and floor surface area of the crates (type of crate may be sufficient for operator purpose);

19.3.4.3.3 Information to be Provided by the Processor and/or Collated in the Growers' Profile for Spent Hens or Culled Breeders

  • (12) Birds' conditions on arrival (dry, wet etc.);
  • (13) Average weight of live birds (calculated from the filled truck weight minus the empty truck weight divided by the number of fowl received for slaughter);
  • (14) Beginning of bird unloading (day : hour : minute) on a truck basis;
  • (15) Number of dead on arrivals (DOAs);
  • (16) Condemnation rate (% for a minimum of the three most frequent conditions related to the farm level) and a rate (%) on a carcass basis for the three to five preceding lots; and
  • (17) Condemnation type (% for a minimum of the three most frequent conditions related to the farm level) and rate (%) of condemned portions for the three to five preceding lots (if recorded), e.g., # kg of parts condemned/# kg processed.

19.3.4.4 Prevention of Violative Drug Residues

19.3.4.4.1 Drug Type Definitions and Associated Reference Services

Extra Label Use (ELU):

The use of a drug product in a manner that is not consistent with what is indicated on the label, package insert or product monograph of any drug product approved by HC, e.g., alternate species such as chickens versus cattle (or even chickens versus turkeys) or increased dosage.

Note: For the purposes of this section, ELU drugs will include Off-Label Use of drugs as defined below.

Off-Label Use:

Use of an unapproved drug product or drug substance which was never approved by a Canadian regulatory authority. Includes the use of a drug under the EDR program or a vaccine under a single entry permit.

  • Canadian Global Food Animal Residue Avoidance Databank (cgFARAD):

The cgFARAD provides expert-mediated decision support to veterinarians for any inquiry related to drug or chemical residues in food animals. However, the cgFARAD will not give a recommendation of a withdrawal time for drugs without a Drug Identification Number (DIN). A drug must have been registered for use in Canada for humans or at least one animal species to have a DIN.

Veterinarians wanting to contact cgFARAD: Veterinarians prescribing extra-label use of drugs may obtain a recommendation for a withdrawal interval based on available information contained in the global Food Animal Residue Avoidance Database (gFARAD) by calling the cgFARAD at 1-866-CGFARAD, by emailing cgfarad@umontreal.ca or through the Web site at cgfarad@usask.ca

Note: The Canadian gFARAD is a non profit academic service independent of the CFIA or VDD and may require up to three weeks to respond to a request. Some more common requests may be processed more rapidly.

The Veterinarian in Charge may contact the cgFARAD at 1-866-CGFARAD (cgfarad@umontreal.ca) to discuss the science basis for the withdrawal interval on the flock sheet with the veterinary experts specializing in pharmacokinetics at the cgFARAD.

Canadian Association of Poultry Practitioners (CAPP) Reference table:

Historical compilation from the Canadian Association of Poultry Practitioners, of cgFARAD recommendations to poultry practitioners, presented in table format. Recommendations for new requests are added to the table as received. The following information is attached to every entry:

  • the generic and brand names of the drug,
  • the species,
  • the disease/condition,
  • the range of dosages,
  • the route of administration,
  • the cgFARAD recommended withdrawal period,
  • the date the cgFARAD recommendation was made and
  • the CAPP reference number.

Access to the reference table is restricted to licensed veterinarians who are members of the CAPP. All entries are linked to the most recent cgFARAD original document (from which nominative information has been removed). Maintenance of the Web site and updates of drug withdrawal periods (minimum of once every two years) is the responsibility of CAPP.

A CFIA Veterinarian in Charge who is not a member of the CAPP may contact the area program network veterinary program specialist to obtain a copy of the CAPP reference table for their personal use. The table is to be treated as a confidential document. It is never to be shown to anyone who is not a veterinarian employed by the CFIA or a member of the CAPP.

CAPP reference number:

Reference number linked to every entry of the CAPP reference table. For new cases, the cgFARAD is consulted and the cgFARAD reference number is used until it is included in the CAPP reference table.

19.3.4.4.2 Extra Label Use of Drugs

Flocks treated with extra label drugs require a copy of the veterinary prescription and accompanying CAPP reference # to be submitted, at the latest, with the advance copy of the flock sheet. If flocks are treated with extra-label drugs after the advance copy of the flock sheet has been submitted, the producer will forward a copy of the veterinary prescription and accompanying CAPP reference number immediately to the processor, and this must be prior to shipping the flock.

19.3.4.4.3 Prescriptions and Determination of the Withdrawal Period for Extra Label Use of Drugs

When extra label use of drugs is required, veterinarians shall supply the producer with a prescription which includes the withdrawal time and the CAPP or cgFARAD reference number for recording on the advance copy of the flock sheet. Veterinarians prescribing extra label use of drugs may obtain a withdrawal period consistent with Canadian regulatory requirements from the CAPP reference table or by contacting the cgFARAD.

19.3.4.4.4 Declaration of Extra Label Drug Use on the Flock Sheets

In the case of extra label drug use, the flock sheet must be completed as normal. In addition, a copy of the veterinary prescription containing information on the withdrawal period, the name of the veterinarian who prescribed the drug, the date of the prescription, the condition being treated and the CAPP reference number must be submitted with the advance copy of the flock sheet.

19.3.4.4.5 Assessment of Medication Information on the Flock Sheets

Operators shall update their specific HACCP system relating to the receiving of live poultry. It shall address the hazard of drug residues to be controlled as reflected in information contained on the flock sheets.

A printed copy of information on drug products approved by HC and available at the aforementioned Web sites is contained in the "Compendium of Medications for Poultry" Published by North American Compendiums Ltd., P.O. Box 39, Hensall, Ontario, N0M 1X0 (Telephone 1-800-350-0627)

For drugs added to medicated feeds, the Compendium of Medicated Ingredients Brochure (MIB) may be consulted on the CFIA web site.

Operators shall provide one or more designated employees to be trained by the Veterinarian in Charge for reviewing the information on the advance copy of the flock sheets. All flock sheets indicating that a veterinary drug was used to treat or prevent a disease shall be referred to the Veterinarian in Charge (VIC). If the advance copy of the flock sheet lists an approved drug, but withdrawal time information is not recorded on the flock sheet, then the operator shall contact the producer for the information. The subject flock shall not be scheduled for pick-up until an amended advance copy of the flock sheet with the missing information is received by the operator.

The processor shall immediately advise the Veterinarian in Charge of the extra label use listing on the flock sheets.

Information recorded on flock sheets related to the use of veterinary drugs should be evaluated during ante mortem examination/inspection at the poultry slaughtering establishment using the decision tree contained in the following section 19.3.4.4.5.2.

19.3.4.4.5.1 Vaccines

Vaccines are also subject to withdrawal times to:

  • ensure freedom from tissue damage and/or drug residues at the injection site;
  • avoid residues from preservatives in edible tissue; and
  • protect humans and/or animals from pathogens in live vaccines.

Withdrawal periods for veterinary vaccines may also be obtained at the aforementioned Web sites (refer to previous sub-section) for veterinary drugs. Withdrawal periods for veterinary vaccines, as contained on the product label approved by the Veterinary Biologics Section, Terrestrial Animal Health Division (TAHD), CFIA, shall also be reported on the flock sheet. Withdrawal times for vaccines are commonly 21 days or longer.

19.3.4.4.5.2 Decision Tree for Assessment of Drugs Listed on a Flock Sheet

Question 1: Banned Drug?

If yes = adulterated. Flocks are to be condemned on ante mortem examination or inspection.

If no = Go to question 2.

Question 2: Approved Drug?

If yes = Go to question 3.

If no = Go to question 4.

Question 3: Was the Drug Used as per the Approved Label?

If yes = Release for slaughter.

If no = Go to question 4.

Question 4: Extra Label Drug – Is there an Attached Copy of a Veterinary Prescription?

If yes, and the veterinary prescription Indicates a withdrawal period obtained from the cgFARAD or the CAPP reference table or
an EDR or a vaccine vial for a vaccine listed on a Single Issue Permit; or Flock tested and attached copy of lab report (see below) indicates compliance with Canadian MRL or AMRL or non-detectable residues;

Then = Release for slaughter

If no = "Hold and Test".

Flocks treated with the Extra – Label Drugs will be slaughtered subject to a "Hold and Test" regime (refer to subsection 19.3.4.4.7 below) if they are received at the establishment without a copy of the corresponding veterinary prescription and the:

  • CAPP or cgFARAD reference number; or a
  • Copy of the HC issued EDR form indicating a withdrawal period; or a
  • Copy of the Single Issue Permit for a vaccine issued by the VBS (Veterinary Biologics Section), CFIA and a copy of the corresponding label indicating a withdrawal period.

The Veterinarian in Charge may at any time, for cause, (e.g., based on past compliance of a producer, pathology visible after evisceration, or other information) require a flock to be tested for specified drug residue(s). In each case, the CFIA area veterinary poultry inspection program specialist shall be contacted to confirm that testing is warranted. All associated costs shall be at the operator's expense.

19.3.4.4.6 Testing Live Birds /Flocks After Extra Label Use of Drugs

Producers in consultation with their veterinarians may test flocks treated with extra label drugs in advance of shipping the flock. Such testing is solely a decision of the producer and cannot be mandated by the CFIA. The laboratory report of such tests should be attached to the advance copy of the flock sheet.

For the CFIA Veterinarian in Charge (VIC) of the federally inspected slaughtering establishment to accept the lab report referred to in the preceding paragraph, the following conditions apply:

  • The report must be issued by a laboratory accredited by the Standards Council of Canada (SCC) or a provincial or university laboratory using an internationally accepted method for the specific veterinary drug or its corresponding metabolite;
  • Samples from the treated flock submitted to the laboratory must be collected, under the supervision of a provincially licensed veterinary poultry practitioner, from live birds which are representative of the flock; and
  • The laboratory report indicates compliance with the applicable Canadian Maximum Residue Limit (MRL) or Administrative Maximum Residue Limit (AMRL) as listed in Table III of Division 15 of the Food and Drug Regulations or as listed on the VDD Web site (AMRL) or that there was no detectable residue of the ELU drug or applicable metabolite.

Flocks arriving at a slaughtering establishment without adequate assurance of compliance, (as described above) with Canadian requirements for residues of veterinary drugs will be slaughtered subject to "Hold and Test" procedures as described in subsection 19.3.4.4.7 below.

19.3.4.4.6.1 Assessment of Laboratory Reports

Poultry products are considered to be adulterated if laboratory reports do not indicate compliance with Canadian regulatory requirements for residues of veterinary drugs. All such laboratory reports shall be referred to the Meat Programs Division (MPD) for a food safety hazard evaluation by HC including whether any condemned product may be rendered for use as animal feed.

Canadian MRLs and AMRLs for veterinary drugs are listed on Health Canada's website:

19.3.4.4.7 Hold and Test

Flocks treated with an extra label drug(s) and which arrive at the slaughtering establishment without a copy of a veterinary prescription and one of the following accompanying the flock sheet shall be subjected to a "Hold and Test" regime:

  • CAPP or cgFARAD reference number;
  • a laboratory report further to live flock testing (refer to previous subsection);
  • a copy of the EDR form issued by the VDD, HC, including the withdrawal period; or
  • a copy of the permit for the vaccine issued by the VBS, the CFIA and a copy of the label showing a withdrawal period.

The operator shall segregate and hold all edible product (and decide how to store it – fresh or frozen) pending receipt of test results for the applicable drug or its principal metabolites from a laboratory accredited by the Standards Council of Canada (SCC) or equivalent – if the Veterinarian in Charge has any questions, s/he should contact the area program network veterinary poultry inspection specialist.

Testing and all associated costs shall be at the operator's expense. The Veterinarian in Charge may in turn wish to contact his/her Area Program Network Veterinary Poultry Inspection specialist or the office of the National Manager, Program Development and Evaluation, Chemical Residue Programs, at the CFIA HQ, for information on SCC accredited laboratories or other laboratories suitable for testing specific drug products.

The operator shall contact his/her selected laboratory to confirm that it is competent to perform the relevant test and to obtain sampling and shipping instructions. Normally each of the following shall be collected as a representative sample from the subject lot and each of the following shall be packaged separately according to instructions from the laboratory:

  • 5 drum sticks;
  • 5 livers;
  • 150 g of intact kidney (not mushed).

A copy of the laboratory test results and the corresponding flock sheet shall be supplied to the Area Poultry Inspection Program veterinary specialist who in turn may contact the CFIA HQ for advice.

Product shall be condemned, subject to CFIA HQ confirmation:

  • if a banned drug was used;
  • any level is detected in an edible product for an unapproved drug;
  • for residue levels above the applicable HC determined MRL or AMRLs; and
  • for (any) detectable residues in cases where there is no applicable Canadian MRL or AMRL.

Such residues result in adulterated product under the MIA and Regulations and are prohibited from sale as human food under the Food and Drugs Act and Regulations.

19.3.4.5 Corrective Measures by the CFIA for Missing or Incomplete Flock Sheets

Operators may choose one of the following three options for a flock that arrives at their establishment for slaughter without the requisite completed flock sheet:

Option no. 1

Slaughter the flock subject to all harvested meat products being disposed of as inedible material; or

Option no. 2

Reschedule the slaughter time based on approval of the Veterinarian in Charge and assurances that the missing sheet or information will arrive during the intervening time period; or

Option no. 3

Slaughter the flock subject to the following additional measures to assure control over the chemical and biological hazards for which information is incomplete due to the missing flock sheets:

  • the Veterinarian in Charge shall reduce the speed of the evisceration line until the operator can demonstrate control over evisceration accidents and the pathological conditions of the subject flock; and
  • segregate and hold by the CFIA all edible meat products harvested from the lot subject to receipt of the original copies of laboratory tests results from an accredited laboratory (performed at the operator's expense) that indicate compliance with the Maximum Residue Limits (MRL) for veterinary drugs as specified by Division 15 of the Food and Drug Regulations and as listed in Chapter 5 of this manual.

Furthermore, the operator shall conduct an investigation to determine how and why the flock arrived at the establishment without a fully completed flock sheet. A report must be provided to the Veterinarian in Charge. The report shall include follow-up action taken to avoid any recurrence.

19.3.4.6 Post mortem Database

At the establishment level, all information must be transmitted to the evisceration manager and be made available to the Veterinarian in Charge for random verification prior to live hanging. Items (18) to (20), from section 19.3.4.2.2, for the last lot processed from a particular barn must be incorporated in the operator's computerized database, and must be made available to the evisceration manager and the Veterinarian in Charge three (3) to five (5) days prior to transporting another lot of birds from that one barn to the slaughtering establishment.

19.3.4.7 Record Retention Period

The processor must keep for a minimum of one (1) year the records relating to the flock sheets and the resulting post mortem database for on-site review by the CFIA Staff.

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