Operational compliance and enforcement approach (Health of Animals Regulations, Part XII –Transport of Animals)
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 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.
Should industry identify concerns or questions regarding humane transport compliance and enforcement activities, please contact:
Executive Director, Inspection Support Directorate
Operations Branch, Canadian Food Inspection Agency
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