Comment on the proposed changes to earthworm import requirements

Current status: Closed

This consultation ran from June 24, 2019 to August 16, 2019

About the consultation

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) launched a public consultation to seek comments on proposed changes to the plant protection requirements for importing earthworms into Canada for commercial purposes.


Earthworms are regularly imported into Canada for commercial purposes such as bait and vermicomposting. Earthworms are considered beneficial in some environments. However, they may also present a threat to Canada's agricultural, forestry and natural environments by potentially carrying soil with parasites and diseases.

CFIA enforces requirements under the Plant Protection Act to mitigate risks presented by the import of earthworms for commercial purposes. CFIA is proposing to update these requirements to better align with the risk earthworms present to plant health in Canada.

Who was the focus of this consultation

  • earthworm producers, distributors, importers and exporters
  • industry associations with an interest in matters related to angling, bait or vermicomposting
  • government and non-government organizations with a mandate related to the health, protection or conservation of agricultural, forestry and environmental resources

All comments are welcome from industry, governments, the public, and other organizations or individuals.

Key questions for comments

CFIA sought comments on the proposed changes to the plant protection requirements for importing earthworms into Canada for commercial purposes. Some questions to consider:

  • Do you have any concerns with allowing the import of a species of earthworm if that species is already present in Canada?
  • Does the CFIA's proposal to no longer regulate aquatic earthworms as a plant health risk cause you any concern?
  • Do you have any concerns with an earthworm species being approved for importation, without regard to the country of origin or production?
  • Do you have any concerns with requiring permits for all earthworm imports, whether or not they originate or have been produced in the continental United States?

Related information

Contact us

Invasive Alien Species and Domestic Programs Section
Plant Protection Division
Canadian Food Inspection Agency
59 Camelot Drive
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0Y9


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