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Operational compliance and enforcement approach (Health of Animals Regulations, Part XII –Transport of Animals)

Context

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has a mandate to enforce Canada's Health of Animals legislation, including updates made to the transport of animals provisions in Part XII of the Health of Animals Regulations (HAR). While ensuring the well-being of animals during transport remains our highest priority, it is recognized that feed, water and rest (FWR) maximum intervals outlined within the updated regulations, in force as of February 20, 2020, introduce a requirement for significant adjustments by some industry sectors such as a need for new infrastructure to be put in place or changes to marketing practices.

CFIA's enforcement approach will balance the need to ensure the well-being of animals during the entire transport process while supporting the different industry sectors in complying with the regulations.

Compliance and enforcement approach

As is often the case with new regulations, and recognizing that the upcoming changes will require industry adaptation, the CFIA will implement a graduated enforcement approach specifically as it relates to the prescriptive times and FWR interval provisions set out in the Health of Animals Regulations Part XII: Transport of Animals, Sections 141(1)(e), 143(1) and 152.2.

During the first two years, the CFIA will focus its enforcement efforts relating to prescriptive times and FWR interval provisions, on compliance promotion through education and awareness measures, which are part of the CFIA's compliance continuum. Please refer to the Compliance and enforcement approach specific to the prescriptive feed, water and rest requirements.

It is important to note that the regulations also contain outcome-based requirements to ensure that animals are not likely to suffer, be injured or die during transport. With respect to FWR requirements, animals are to be provided with feed, water and rest during transport in order to ensure they do not suffer from exhaustion, a nutritional deficit, dehydration or adverse environmental conditions. The CFIA has the discretion to appropriately enforce these outcome-based requirements to prevent and act on animal welfare situations.

In relation to other aspects of the regulations, the CFIA will continue to use the Standard Regulatory Response Process (SRRP) to determine appropriate compliance and enforcement actions in cases of identified non-compliance or offenses. Considerations include the regulated parties' history of non-compliance, the level of harm and the intent of the non-compliance/offense. Enforcement actions are proportional to the animal welfare situation and the seriousness of the non-compliance and can include, but are not limited to, letters of non-compliance, meetings with the regulated party, the issuance of administrative monetary penalties (AMPs) up to prosecution.

The following figure provides an overview of the compliance and enforcement approach specific to the prescriptive FWR requirements, supporting the updated regulations. As noted above, all other aspects of Part XII of the HAR will be subject to the SRRP.

Compliance and enforcement approach specific to the prescriptive feed, water and rest requirements

Compliance and enforcement approach specific to the prescriptive feed, water and rest requirements

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Compliance and enforcement approach specific to the prescriptive feed, water and rest requirements

Is there compliance with the prescriptive feed, water and rest requirements under the updated HAR (Part XII)?

  • If yes: no further action is required.
  • If no, and the transport takes place between February 20 and February 20, 2022, we must take an additional step by asking the following question:
    • Is there compliance with the requirements relating to transport times under the old Health of Animals Regulations (Part XII)?
      • If yes: compliance promotion and education will be used.
      • If no: the standard regulatory response process will be followed.
  • If the situation is not compliant with the prescriptive feed, water and rest requirements under the updated HAR (Part XII), and the transport takes place on February 20, 2022 and beyond, the standard regulatory response process will be followed.
Reference: CFIA's Standard Regulatory Response Process (SRRP)

Compliance and enforcement management oversight

In cases where a non-compliance has been identified and is subject to the Standard Regulatory Response, processes are established for CFIA inspectors to engage their Area management, prior to issuance of the enforcement action to the regulated party. Active engagement across Operations Branch management and strong support from National expertise to the Areas will support national consistency.

Operational contact

Should industry identify concerns or questions regarding humane transport compliance and enforcement activities, please contact:

Richard Arsenault
Executive Director, Inspection Support Directorate
Operations Branch, Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Telephone: 613-773-6156

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