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Health of Animals Regulations: Part XII: Transport of Animals-Regulatory Amendment
Interpretive Guidance for Regulated Parties

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Part I: Introduction

This guidance document is designed to assist stakeholders in interpretation and implementation of the amended Part XII of the Health of Animals Regulations (HAR).

The amendments to Part XII of the HAR (transport of animals) were pre-published in Canada Gazette, Part I (CGI) in December 2016 and published in Canada Gazette (CGII) on February 20th, 2019. The amended Part XII of the HAR came into force February 20, 2020.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) humane transport and animal welfare page has a link to the most current version of this document. In the case of a discrepancy between this document and the HAR Part XII, Part XII prevails.


The wording in this guidance document has been chosen for ease of reading; always refer to the current published regulations for precise wording.

Subscribers to CFIA's Email Notification Subscription (Listserv for Animal Policy updates – Terrestrial) will be notified of changes as they occur.

This guidance may be revised from time to time based on advances in science, technology, review of data, feedback from regulated parties, the public, CFIA staff and trading partners.



1.0 General

Transportation is stressful for animals. Unfamiliar surroundings, noises, vibrations and movements, unfamiliar humans and animals, handling, loading and unloading, exposure to adverse conditions, lack of access to feed and water, and other stressors are part of the process.

Individual animals differ in their ability to withstand transport. The condition of animals can change over time. An animal that is fit to load at the beginning of the transport continuum can become compromised or unfit during the journey.

Situations also change during the transport continuum (weather, road conditions, conveyance equipment function, scheduling).

In response to all these changes, actions must be taken to prevent avoidable animal suffering.

Transported animals must be:

All transport situations are different. What is appropriate for a specific animal's welfare will depend on the context and situation. It is not possible to create a "black and white" rule that will apply to every scenario. See section 1.8 for suggested species-specific sources of guidance.

Part XII of the HAR has a mix of outcome-based and prescriptive requirements that must be met.

The intent of the HAR amendments is to build on the culture of continuous improvement in animal handling that underpins Canadian animal agriculture. Canada has a growing body of knowledge, industry driven recommended-practices, scientific data, animal care assessment and training programs as well as a strong commitment to animal welfare including during transportation.

Part XII of the HAR amendments closely reflect the existing body of knowledge and recommendations for enhancing animal welfare outcomes in Canada.

Under the amended regulations, all those involved in the transportation of animals are given an opportunity to demonstrate and document that they are knowledgeable, accountable and taking proactive steps to ensure animals wellbeing during transport.

The intent of Part XII of the HAR is to minimize the suffering of animals involved in the process of transportation whether due to ignorance, negligence, lack of planning, improper use of equipment or improper handling.

1.1 Regulatory authority

The following Acts, and their respective Regulations, work together to govern the humane transport of animals into, within and out of Canada:

1.2 Regulated parties subject to Part XII of the HAR

All persons involved in transport of animals share responsibility under the law, including those who:

Humane transport is a shared responsibility

Part XII of the HAR apply to all those involved directly or indirectly in the transport of live animals. This includes, but is not limited to:

Persons involved in the transport of animals need to:

1.3 Regulated activities (transport methods that are regulated)

All modes of transporting animals are regulated: aircraft, carriage, motor vehicle, trailer, railway car, vessel, crate, cargo container, cage, module and/or any other conveyance or container used to move animals.

1.4 The transport process covered under the regulatory authority of Part XII of the HAR

Part XII of the HAR applies to all aspects of the animal transport continuum and related confinement including:

1.5 Inspections: what to expect

While CFIA has the authority to conduct an animal transport inspection at any location where animals are or may be transported, CFIA's approach to inspections is risk-based.

CFIA Inspectors also do routine inspections to verify compliance with the requirements of legislation at:

The CFIA inspectors abide by the CFIA values and ethics principles found in The Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Its Regulated Parties, Stakeholders and Partners: An Ethical Relationship and in the Statement of Rights and Service for Producers, Consumers and Other Stakeholders.

When CFIA inspectors are on your property, at your place of business or have stopped your vehicle, they will

While on-site, the inspector will collect information to verify compliance with the legal requirements and will make notes to record details of the inspection. The inspector may, for example:

You are legally required to provide information to, and assist, an inspector.

Please ensure the inspector is aware of any safety concerns or procedures and any biosecurity controls while on your property so that they are safe and can adhere to the biosecurity procedures you have in place.

The durations of transport inspection are variable. The inspection can be brief when the animals are visible, records are in order and the load can be readily determined to be in full compliance. In other cases, a more detailed inspection may be required.

1.6 This guidance document assists the regulated party to understand the regulations

This document provides interpretation and some examples to help stakeholders make decisions regarding animal transport. The intent is to:

Those involved in the transport of animals are expected to:

Part XII of the HAR has a combination of prescriptive and outcome based requirements.

With outcome based regulatory requirements, you have the opportunity to demonstrate that you took appropriate action to prevent and mitigate negative outcomes. The actions that you do, or do not take, to contribute to, or limit negative welfare outcomes will be considered in outcome based regulations.

You must meet all of the requirements (both prescriptive and outcome based) of the regulation that apply in a given situation. For example:

If a type of animal is not covered by specific prescriptive requirement (for example there is no prescriptive ramp angle for llamas), compliance is achieved when the outcome based requirement has been met (llama suffering, injury and death is prevented).

1.7 Subjects not covered in this document

This interpretive guidance document does not provide:

For example: mammary engorgement in a dairy cow looks different than the same condition in a dog. The regulated party is expected to know the characteristics and appearance of the condition for the species they are transporting.

1.8 Recommended additional references

Regulated parties are also encouraged to refer to industry guidelines and/or veterinary opinions to assure the best animal welfare practices during all phases of animal transport.

These sources provide relevant and valuable information:

Part II: Guidance on individual regulatory provisions and related information

Sections of Part XII of the HAR are addressed one at a time in this part to help clarify:

Several regulatory provisions can apply in a given situation; their combined meaning needs to be considered.

Individual sections of legislation are interpreted in context, with the intent of the regulation in mind rather than as standalone requirements.


The intent of the HAR is to prevent unnecessary (avoidable) suffering of animals in transport due to ignorance, negligence, lack of planning, improper use of equipment or improper handling.

2.0 Interpretation – HAR section 136(1)-(3)

2.1 Required outcomes

Regulated parties have a clear understanding of the terms and language used in the regulation to assist with interpretation of, and compliance with, Part XII of the HAR.

This section provides clarification of some general terms used in the regulation.

2.2 Terms defined in the context of Part XII of the HAR

This section of the regulation clarifies the meaning of specific terms as they are used for the purpose of Part XII of the HAR. They include:

For ease of use, the legal definitions from this section are included in Appendix 1 with the definition of other commonly used terms. Words specifically listed and defined in the HAR section 136 are indicated in the appendix by an asterix (*).

3.0 Application – HAR section 137

3.1 Required outcomes

All persons involved in all parts of the transport process for animals entering or leaving, or within Canada are required to be aware of, and transport animals in compliance with, the requirements of this legislation.

Note: the regulations apply to all animals

3.2 Guidance to regulated parties

The regulations apply:


Animal exporters can be required to demonstrate compliance with Canadian feed, water and rest provisions throughout the intended journey.

Animal importers must be able to demonstrate compliance with Part XII of the HAR, including maximum allowable FWR intervals and the required outcomes (so that animals do not experience nutritional deficit, dehydration or exhaustion).

Importers can be asked to provide:

4.0 Knowledge and skills – HAR section 138

4.1 Required outcomes – knowledge and skills

People involved in animal transport (that is planning, loading, confinement, transport and unloading) must:

To prevent injury, suffering or death caused during all phases of the transport process.

4.2 Guidance to regulated parties – knowledge and skills

The regulations require that the regulated party must know what to do and have the necessary skills to meet the outcomes required by the regulation.

This section is an outcome based requirement. The regulated party is empowered to determine what knowledge is needed to achieve the outcome, which is to ensure the well-being of animals in your care as well as to ensure your own personal safety.

The information can come from mentorship, formal training or both.

The needs of animals vary with the species, size, sex, age, health and production status, physiology, and the degree to which they have been socialized. The knowledge and actions you take must be appropriate for the species and type of animal you work with.

Some of the things that good stock people and humane animal transporters are aware of include:

It is your responsibility to be able to demonstrate that you have the required knowledge and skills. This could be done by:

4.3 Required outcomes – training (commercial carriers) HAR 138.1(1)-(2)

Every commercial carrier provides training to all employees involved directly or indirectly in the loading, confinement, transportation or unloading of animals.

Every commercial carrier assures that all employees involved in animal transport know what their specific role is in ensuring that animals are transported in a manner that prevents them from injury, suffering or death during transport.

The regulation includes a list of the topics that must be covered in this training:

See section 1.8 for suggested species specific guidance. Refer to section 6 of this document for more information about assessing risk factors.

4.4 Guidance to regulated parties – training

You are a commercial carrier if your business is transporting animals.

See Appendix 1 for further clarification on the definition of commercial carrier.

For example: a dispatcher would need to understand maximum FWR times for the species and type of animal so they could schedule a journey, but they may not need to know the maximum unloading-ramp angles for a species (however the person(s) involved in loading and unloading animals would need to know that maximum angle).

The training requirement is outcome based. The regulation:

Commercial carriers are responsible for demonstrating how they achieve the required outcomes. Documentation you may want to use to demonstrate compliance with this section could include:

5.0 Contingency plans – HAR section 138.2

5.1 Required outcomes

Every commercial carrier and those persons who transport animals in the course of business or for financial benefit must have a contingency plan.

The plan will establish measures to be taken to reduce or mitigate avoidable suffering if:

Any person who is required to have a contingency plan will inform all employees and agents or mandataries who load, confine, transport or unload animals or who take part in decision making, or advising the person operating the conveyance, in respect of the loading, confining, transporting or unloading of animals of the contingency plan.

5.2 Guidance to regulated parties

Humane animal transportation is complex and dynamic. Things can go wrong. Responding appropriately to an evolving situation requires, knowledge, skill, and planning ahead.

A contingency plan is a set of actions-to-take to address unusual or unexpected transport events.

When you are in compliance with HAR s. 138.2, you will be able to describe how you prepared to prevent unnecessary animal suffering, injury or death in the case of unforeseen but reasonably predictable events. Failure to have a contingency plan is a violation of Part XII of the HAR s. 138.2.

Compliance will be evaluated on whether the contingency plan was available and implemented, not on its format.

The key to making a contingency plan is to anticipate events that could happen and decide proactively what actions would need to be taken to address the situation. 

To ensure contingency plan(s) are successful, it is important that:

Contingency Plan Content:

Examples of unanticipated events that can occur when transporting animals to consider when developing your contingency plan include:

If asked to demonstrate your compliance with the contingency planning requirements, you could do so by using (some, or all of the following):

6.0 Assessment of risk factors related to transport and monitoring requirements – HAR section 138.3

6.1  Required outcomes

All those involved in the transport of animals must assess:

Every person involved in the transport of animals must monitor:

Section 138.3 specifically lists risk factors that could reasonably be viewed as impacting the animal's capacity to withstand the process of transport, such as but not limited to:

6.2 Guidance to regulated parties

The humane transport of animals is complex and requires knowledge, planning, and sound decision making. Assessment and monitoring are important because animals vary in their capacity to withstand transportation. Appendix 3 provides a starting point of things to look for while assessing and monitoring.

The intent of this section is to ensure that animals are:

See section 1.8 for additional species specific resources and section 4.0 for additional information regarding knowledge and skills.


An animal with a mild lameness at the start of transport can be expected to get worse over time due to the sorting process, loading, bumping and jostling, shifting weight, and balancing while in motion. That animal:

Because of these increased risk factors mentioned above, this animal will need to be monitored more frequently than a fit, sound animal. By definition, the above animal is considered compromised and will need to be handled/transported as such.

Information about transport-related risk factors that must be evaluated include:

You must assess animals and evaluate the welfare-risks prior to, and monitor animals in, transport (see Appendix 3). Records and information that can be used to validate that you are in compliance with risk assessment requirements include:

7.0 Transport of unfit animals – HAR sections 139, 139.1 and 139.2

7.1 Required outcomes

The decision about whether an animal is fit for transport will vary from case to case.

Animals defined as unfit are likely to suffer during transport. They cannot be loaded or transported (unless they are going for veterinary care). Animals will be considered unfit if they are showing the following conditions:

Each of these conditions is further discussed, with examples in Appendix 1.

**Note** – unfit animals may not be loaded except for the 2 exceptions below:


A producer/owner may want a valuable dairy cow that has a painful lameness to have diagnostic testing performed to determine the cause of the acute lameness. In such a case, a veterinarian will need to be consulted. It is important that the unfit animal is loaded only if it can be loaded and transported according to the veterinarian's instruction and with proper provisions (see section 139 (2)). The animal must be:


Inspectors can make an order to take measures to protect animal welfare in the event of noncompliance with the prohibition on transporting unfit animals. The regulation requires that parties who receive such an order must comply.

Animals' whose condition changes during transport

If an animal was loaded fit and it becomes "unfit" during transport, reasonable measures must be taken, as soon as possible, to prevent the animal's unnecessary suffering, injury or death (s.139(4)) which says:

Unloading unfit animals

An animal that becomes unfit during transport and is nonambulatory can only be unloaded if it is unconscious:

An animal that becomes unfit during transport and is ambulatory can be unloaded with special care if:

Unfit animals in containers can be manually removed from the container before being rendered unconscious or humanely killed (in a manner that is not likely to cause the animal to unnecessarily suffer, sustain an injury, or die) as per s. 139.1(2).


Assess each situation, consider human and animal safety. What type of unloading minimizes further animal suffering?

If the animal can not get up and walk on its own, it must be humanely rendered unconscious, or killed where it is (no dragging, pushing, rolling, prodding).

An unfit non-ambulatory animal that is being transported for veterinary care may be unloaded while conscious only under veterinary instruction.

A small non-ambulatory animal (e.g. a bird or a rabbit) can be manually lifted out of the container while conscious if doing so does not cause unnecessary suffering, injury or death.

If an unfit animal is found on your load, you could be asked for evidence that the animal was fit prior to loading. Keeping complete animal transport records (see Appendix 4) can help you to demonstrate that the actions you took were appropriate.

7.2 Guidance to regulated parties

An animal that is determined to be unfit prior to loading (Section 139(1))

All parties who are directly (handlers, producers, transporters) or indirectly (processors) involved in the transport process are to take measures to ensure that animals are assessed for fitness prior to transit. Applies to:

Each situation is different. Knowledge and judgment is needed to evaluate if an animal is considered unfit.

Situations also change, and fit animals can become unfit at any time throughout the transport continuum. It is possible that animals appear to be fit for transport prior to loading and then become injured or otherwise suffer.

The appropriate decision for an animal will depend on the context and situation:


If you assess an animal and find that it is showing 2 conditions, where one is on the list of "unfit" conditions list, and the other is on the list defined as "compromised", the more severe condition takes precedence and the animal is to be classified as unfit.

All those who cause the continued transport of an animal that becomes unfit during confinement and or transport, must take steps to prevent unnecessary suffering of that animal such that:

Planning in advance is important in these situations (refer to: Contingency Plan in this guidance document).

8.0 Transport of compromised animals – HAR section 140

8.1 Required outcomes

The decision about whether an animal is fit for transport will vary from case to case.

Animals that are determined to be compromised prior to loading can only be transported to the nearest place where they can receive care, except an assembly center. Animals will be considered compromised if they are showing the following conditions:

Evaluating compromised animals and whether their condition will put them at risk of suffering additional distress if transported, requires experience, judgement, and knowledge of the context of the specific situation.

The outcome, and the potential for suffering (or additional suffering), that could be caused by transport of the animal must be considered.

Regulated parties are encouraged to document their decisions and the actions they take to prevent compromised animals from suffering due to transport, which may include:

Each condition defined as "compromised" by Part XII is further discussed, with examples, in Appendix 1.

Animals identified as compromised prior to loading, are all:

In the rare event that an animal becomes compromised during transport:

If in doubt whether an animal can withstand the same transport challenges as a healthy, fit animal, assume the animal is compromised (and transport with special provisions).


The maximum time a compromised animal can be without feed, safe water and rest is 12 hours. See HAR section 152.2(1).

8.2 Guidance to regulated parties

An animal that is compromised prior to loading (Section 140(1))

All parties involved directly or indirectly in and responsible for the transportation of animals, must ensure that each animal is assessed prior to loading to determine whether each animal is fit for transport. This will avert animal suffering, possible findings of non-compliance, economic losses and unplanned delays. Compromised animals as described in section 136(1) must be transported directly – with the necessary provisions to prevent unnecessary suffering, injury or death – to the nearest appropriate place (this can be a veterinary hospital or a slaughter facility) that has the required facilities, equipment and materials to care for or humanely kill the animal.

The maximum allowable time without access to feed, water and rest is 12 hours for a compromised animal (see section 152.2). The timing of this interval begins when feed, water and rest are no longer available to the animal and ends only when feed, water and rest are once again provided sufficient to meet the animal's needs and the regulatory requirements.

Note that 12 hours without access to feed, water and rest is to be considered as a maximum interval. If a regulated party is found to have driven past the nearest place without attending to the compromised animal, even if the animal has not been deprived of feed, water and rest for longer than 12 hours, an inspector may ask that an acceptable rationale be provided and the regulated party may be subject to enforcement action.

Transport can be stressful to animals. Those that are compromised prior to loading may deteriorate, and may even become unfit as per the definition of unfit in 136(1), and are therefore subject to the more stringent requirements. For example, an animal that is mildly lame prior to loading can become extremely lame or even non-ambulatory if required to negotiate ramps during loading or work to maintain its space and balance on the conveyance. An animal's condition can also deteriorate after being exposed to the unfamiliar stresses of transport such as a feed, water and rest restrictions, confined space, large numbers of unfamiliar animals, noises and movements and having to protect itself from injury. Therefore, a requirement to load these animals individually and a prohibition against requiring them to move up and down ramps within the conveyance were added as basic provisions.

An animal that is compromised prior to loading must not be transported to an assembly centre. The reason for this prohibition is to protect animals from unnecessary suffering by repeated loading, unloading and by exposing them to the stress of being in a new environment and excessive handling. In addition, this prohibition protects assembly centres from potentially becoming a repository of sick, injured or otherwise compromised animals.

Any animal that is deemed compromised prior to loading as per 136(1) may be transported, however it is required that certain measures be taken to mitigate suffering. These provisions include but are not limited to the following list. The animal is:

An animal that is likely to become compromised or where deterioration is not unexpected during confinement and transport

While an animal may appear fit for transport prior to loading, there may have been some indications on farm that the animal may be at risk of deterioration during transport. For example, animals that have shown a pattern of shifting lameness or lack of appetite from time to time due to an intermittent illness, may be at risk of becoming compromised when exposed to the various transport related stressors. The transporter should be made aware of such findings in order to adequately prepare for and/or monitor the animal during the transport. It is not acceptable to withhold this important information from the transporter.

It is easier to plan and prepare for the handling of a compromised animal before loading than to have to adjust the transport plans if an animal becomes compromised while in transit.

An animal that becomes compromised during transport (Section 140(5) and (6))

Despite careful selection, the best preparations and provisions, some animals can become compromised during confinement and transport. In the case of an animal that appears to be fit prior to loading but becomes compromised during the journey; the transporter may be required to make adjustments to accommodate the compromised animal. For example, a planned journey to a slaughter plant may require a schedule adjustment to allow for the transporter to isolate the animal from others in the load to protect it, to add bedding, etc. The regulated party is required to have accurate, up-to-date, readily available contact information in case of an unforeseen event that may impact animal welfare. This should include information such as all suitable places along the route in their contingency plan (see section 138.2) to facilitate and expedite a positive outcome to any such events.

It is important to be aware of the condition of the animals at loading, throughout the confinement, and during transport time (frequent assessments of the animal in the load are required, refer to Appendix 3); and loads should be monitored as often as deemed necessary considering the various risk factors (see section 138.3 regarding risk factors and monitoring) to ensure animals have not deteriorated, been injured, or found suffering and that no animals have died.

Loads with compromised animals will require more frequent monitoring than loads with only fit animals or are likely to remain fit throughout. Regulated parties found to be transporting animals that are compromised without having monitored them adequately or provided reasonable measures to prevent unnecessary suffering, injury or death may be subject to enforcement action.

If a situation arises where it is unsafe for the transporter to enter the conveyance to care for a newly discovered compromised animal, then reasonable measures to mitigate suffering must be taken in a manner that does not risk the operator's safety. These can include environmental adjustments and other provisions that can improve the conditions within the conveyance without endangering the driver or the remaining animals in the load. The animal should then be taken to the nearest place where it can receive care or be humanely killed as per the contingency plan. The regulated party may be asked to provide a rationale for considering it unsafe to provide the necessary provisions and for evidence that the animal was not compromised prior to loading.

Additional information regarding compromised and unfit animals

Compromised poultry and rabbits in crates

All outcomes listed above apply to compromised crated poultry and rabbits with the following modifications:

Nearest place

In the context of the regulations, "the nearest place" is defined as the closest facility geographically to the transport conveyance at the time at which the animal is found to be compromised or unfit during transit. This can be a veterinary facility, a farm, a slaughter establishment, an assembly centre, or any other suitable place, provided it is closest and the animal is able to receive veterinary care or treatment, or be humanely killed there.

Assembly centres and compromised/unfit animals

Animals that become compromised/unfit in transit can be transported to assembly centres while those that are compromised prior to loading cannot be (animals that are determined to be unfit prior to loading cannot be loaded). Explanation/rationale: An animal that is compromised prior to loading must not be transported to an assembly centre. The reason for this prohibition is to protect animals from suffering, injury or death by repeated loading, unloading and by exposing them to the stress of being in a new environment and excessive handling. In addition, this prohibition protects assembly centres from potentially becoming a repository of sick and injured animals.

An animal that becomes compromised or unfit during transport must be transported directly to the nearest place that is suitable to minimize suffering and reasonable measures are must be taken to prevent the animal's unnecessary suffering, injury or death. In some circumstances, this can include an assembly centre but only for the purpose of care or humane killing. No other activities such as transport for marketing or assembly are acceptable.


If in doubt whether an animal is compromised, or unfit, it is advisable to handle the animal as unfit and to seek veterinary advice.

9.0 Transport of livestock, camelids or cervids of 8 days of age or less, and transport of young ruminants of more than 8 days – HAR sections 141 and 143

9.1 Required outcomes

Section 141 – Livestock, camelids or cervids of 8 days of age or less

Very young livestock, camelids and cervids (eight days old or less) are transported so that the impact of risk factors that affect them is minimized. There are 6 requirements:

Section 143 – Young ruminants (for example: 9 days of age up to 8-12 weeks)

Ruminants from birth until the time where they are physically old enough to be fed exclusively on hay or grain, are not transported unless:

9.2 Guidance to regulated parties

Guidance for section 141

"Livestock" is defined in HAR s. 2 to mean animals of the bovine, goat, horse, sheep and porcine species.

Section 141 will most commonly apply to the transport of male dairy calves, in the first week of life where they are transported to specialized feeding facilities for meat production (veal).

A 12 hour journey is a maximum time, however transport times may have to be shorter to meet the required outcomes. If the animals are likely to suffer from dehydration, nutritional deficit or exhaustion within the 12 hour period, transporters must address their needs as soon as possible.

Why? These young animals (8 days of age or less) have a reduced capacity to withstand the transport process (they are a type of "compromised animal"). Some of these risk factors include the fact that:

The regulation is intended to prevent very young calves from being loaded, transported and unloaded multiple times, transported a long time, and to limit unnecessary contact with other animals/pathogens (for example, in auction markets). These risks can lead to the deterioration of the animal's condition over time.

Very young animals can be collected on a single conveyance from multiple sources. Short stops can be made to load additional animals (of eight days or less) without the unloading of previously loaded animals. Animals already on board must remain on the conveyance (that is, no loading and unloading at various times prior to reaching their final destination).

Transport of these young animals can only occur once while the animal is eight days old or less.

Determining if an animal is 8 days of age or less

Producers are required to be able to identify young animals and have records of the animal's birth.

Inspectors will validate compliance based on:

Guidance for section 143

This section focuses on ruminants of 9 days of age or older that are too young to be fed exclusively on hay or grain.

The maximum length of time these animals can be transported is 12 hours. The intent is to prevent gradual deterioration of calves due to repeated transport events.

The maximum time without FWR is 12 hours:

The intent is not to prevent the calves from a second transport event in this age range, rather it is to assure that young calves have the rest, hydration and nutrition they need so they are robust and ready for a second journey (maximum 12 hours), if one is required.

For the purposes of this section:


Ruminants are considered old enough to be fed exclusively on grain or hay:

There is a range of ages that depends on the breeding, the feeding and the management of the animals.

The age can range from as little as 6 weeks old to more than 12 weeks of age.

Producers and transporters must consider these factors, and the animals' conditioning, to determine if they are able to digest, and use hay and grain as the only source of nutrition.

10.0 Transport of lactating animals – HAR section 142

10.1 Required outcomes

Lactating mammals are transported in a manner that reduces the risk of avoidable suffering caused by mammary engorgement. Lactating animals are loaded, confined or transported either:

10.2 Guidance to regulated parties

Transporters must be aware of the signs of mammary engorgement in the animals they are caring for.


Signs of mammary engorgement vary among and within species.


  • animals affected can appear uncomfortable and reluctant to lie down
  • mammary glands will be firm to hard and painful
  • mammary tissue may be warm or hot to the touch
  • mammary tissue may appear deep pink or red

Take action to relieve engorgement by:

For example: a high value cow in heavy lactation and being milked regularly is moved or sold to another farm for production purposes. This is not an issue.

For example: cull dairy cows (i.e. going for slaughter) that are still lactating and are transported, sometimes over several days, without being milked, which can result in engorged and painful mammary glands. This is an issue and is avoidable suffering.

This is an outcome based requirement. Each case will be evaluated in context and on its own merits.

Note: Animals in peak lactation are defined as compromised (see s.140(1)) in the regulation. The intent is to restrict animals that are producing large amounts of milk from moving through auction marts, often with repeated transport events, until their milk production and therefore their risk of suffering is reduced. The intent is to prevent mammary engorgement and the resulting discomfort and risk of complications. Animals in peak lactation that are being milked regularly to prevent engorgement will not be considered compromised.

11.0 Animal handling from loading to unloading – HAR sections 144 and 145

11.1 Required outcomes

This section covers:

Animals are handled during loading, confinement, transport and unloading in a manner that does not cause suffering, injury or death. People who transport animals must not:

And when an animal is in a container, people involved in the transport process must not:

Every animal is handled during loading, confinement, transport and unloading in a manner that does not cause or is not likely to cause suffering, injury or death.

Animals will be loaded and unloaded using equipment that is designed, built, constructed and maintained to prevent likely suffering, injury or death.

External ramps and gangways must be:

11.2 Guidance to regulated parties

Understanding animal behavior is an important skill for humane transportation. Animal handling should be quiet, patient, efficient, safe, low stress and with little or no use of whips, goads, prods or similar devices:

Mishandling animals in frustration (e.g. beating, lifting, dragging, etc.) causes unnecessary suffering and is prohibited by Part XII of the HAR.

It is unacceptable to knowingly harm an animal during any phase of the transport continuum.

Predicting potential problems and preventing them is key. An animal does not have to suffer an injury before enforcement action can be taken as handling animals in any way that is likely to cause suffering injury or death is also a noncompliance.

Handling of Containers and Conveyance

The regulated party must handle each container, including a cargo container, and the conveyance in a manner that:

Guiding devices and prods

Prod use (including prod-like tools) for moving animals

All driving tools, including the electric prod, are to be used by employees who understand the principles of animal behaviour and how to use these goads correctly to prevent injury and suffering.

The prod use requirements of the regulations are prescriptive and clear (s. 144).

Prods are only used on bovine and porcine species, and are allowed only on specific sections of the hindquarters of large bovines or porcines of at least 3 months of age (that is to say, prod use is not allowed in sheep, goats, dogs, horses, camelids, calves and weanling pigs).

A prod is considered as "used" (for inspection purposes) every time a handler touches the animal (whether or not they have pressed the power button).

Prod-like equipment, for the purposes of this regulation, includes innovative technology that has an on/off switch, a power source, and causes an aversive reaction in animals.

These tools may be used only:

Repeated prodding of the same animal is not acceptable under any circumstances.

Vibrating or air prods

These devices are a recent innovation in driving tools to move cattle or pigs without applying electrical current and:

Acceptable use of a vibrating prod (same as electric prod)

Unacceptable use of a vibrating prod

Guiding devices, boards, pool noodles and noise makers

Guiding devices are used to guide animals along a route and to deter them from excessive deviation from the intended path. These devices are:

Even seemingly benign guiding devices are likely to cause animal suffering if used inappropriately. Such as if:

Tail twisting in cattle

Ramps/ unloading apparatus, gangways (s. 145)

All conveyances, containers, ramps, stairs, gangways, chutes, boxes or other apparatus used for loading, and unloading animals must be designed, constructed, used and maintained to ensure that these are unlikely to cause or lead to any injury, suffering or death to the animal during loading and unloading. Ramps and steps must be of sufficient strength and height to prevent animals from tripping, slipping, falling or sustaining an injury.

Transporters are required to use a ramp or similar apparatus if one is needed to reduce the risk of injury, suffering or death during loading or unloading.


To determine if a ramp (or other apparatus) is needed for safe loading or unloading, evaluate the risk for an animal to suffer, sustain an injury or die by stepping directly from or onto the ground or other surface.

This section (s. 145) of the regulation applies to ramps and gangways outside of transport vehicles (not the ones within a trailer or conveyance). Regulated parties are encouraged to ensure all ramps used by the species follow recommendations and to work towards meeting the prescriptive slope maximums for all ramps (interior and exterior).

There are both prescriptive (ramp angles) and outcome based requirements for ramps. The outcome must be that loading and unloading of animals in conveyances is done in a manner that:

For species not mentioned on the maximum prescriptive ramp angle list, compliance with the required outcome will be evaluated.

For example: the regulation does not define a maximum loading ramp angle for llamas but it does require the outcome which is the prevention of a llama from suffering, injury or death. Llamas must be unloaded on appropriate equipment, calmly, to prevent slipping and falling.


There are other sections of the amended Part XII of the HAR which also apply to the handling of animals on ramps For example: section 150(1) prohibits the loading, confinement or transport of an animal unless the conveyance is designed, constructed, equipped, maintained and used to prevent the animal's suffering, injury or death. So, if an animal is injured by the use of an inappropriate ramp inside a vehicle, enforcement action can still be taken.

The ramp provisions within this regulation speaks to design and construction requirements leading to:

One size does not necessarily fit all:

The NFACC Codes of Practice for the Care and Handling of Farm Animals provide species specific guidelines for ramps, steps and equipment.

12.0 Weather protection and ventilation – HAR section 146

12.1 Required outcomes

Animals are protected from risk of suffering, sustaining an injury and/or death due to inadequate ventilation or exposure to meteorological or environmental conditions during transport.

This section covers:

12.2 Guidance to regulated parties

Environmental conditions impact the humane transport of animals. The intent of the regulation is that an animal is transported so that it does not experience, nor can it reasonably be expected to experience suffering, injury or death from exposure to adverse weather or environmental conditions, including inadequate ventilation.

This is an outcome based section of the regulations. Regulated parties must ensure that each animal in the load has adequate weather protection and ventilation to maintain its body temperature within an acceptable range at all times during the phases of transport. Each case must be evaluated in context and on its own merits:


The required outcome is achieved when regulated parties have taken action to ensure:

Weather Conditions

Animals need to be protected from dangerous extremes of either heat and humidity, or cold temperatures, wet conditions and/or wind-chill. An animal exposed to the effects of the weather can suffer for many reasons including but not limited to: panic, heat exhaustion, asphyxiation, dehydration, hypoglycemia, frostbite, and hypothermia.

Transportation-related mortality in animals increases significantly during:

High temperatures combined with high humidity and poor ventilation can cause severe heat stress in transported animals. Animals transported in crates, and swine, are especially vulnerable.

When to reschedule a transport due to unacceptable weather

In extreme weather, the regulated party may need to reschedule the transport. Regulated parties are urged to consider the external temperatures and the conditions as well as the available protections and load characteristics. Wind-chill, condensation, loading and air flow patterns, venting, environmental controls, monitors, trip duration, as well as species, class and health of animals should all contribute to the decision to begin or postpone the intended journey

Air flow

Air flows from the rear of the trailer towards the front of the trailer exiting through the side of trailers as it moves forward. There are areas on a trailer that are more hot than others, for example in some conveyances, the area with the least air circulation is the front just behind the tractor/truck above the front trailer axle wheels. This is sometimes referred to as the kill zone.

The area with the greatest exposure to wind chill, rain, freezing rain, etc., in cold weather on a moving trailer includes the rear and the sides of the trailer. Due to the wind chill effect on a moving truck, animals may suffer from cold and frostbite even during temperatures above freezing. As a result, during the winter, animals close to the sides on minimally equipped trailers can freeze, while animals in the middle portion can die from heat exposure. This more frequently occurs in transport of animals that are unable to move away from the sides of the conveyances due to loading positions.

The regulated party is responsible for knowing and understanding the inherent risks during all weather conditions as well as species specific thermo-neutral zones (temperatures within which they are able to regulate their body temperatures), animal behavior, and signs of suffering of the transported animals to act appropriately when deviations from normal are identified.

Stationary conveyances/trailers

Conventional conveyances rely on movement to move air over the animals in the load. When a conveyance is not moving, there is lack of air flow through the conveyance (unless the conveyance is equipped with mechanical ventilation which will be discussed in section 19.0 of this document).

The regulated party must consider this when the vehicle stops or slows down especially during hot days due to traffic or other reasons. Parking animal transport vehicles, particularly in hot weather, can result in excessive heat and CO2 buildup inside the vehicle which may cause animals to suffer and die of hyperthermia (extreme heat) or suffocation.

Decreased ventilation can also lead to condensation within the conveyance if the temperature gradient inside and outside of the conveyance is significant and can lead to wet animals. When transport is resumed or when the animals are otherwise exposed to the cold, these wet animals can become hypothermic (extremely low body temperature) leading to suffering and even death.

Conveyances must have:

Monitoring of animals and temperatures at multiple areas, particularly the highest risk areas is strongly recommended. This is especially important during weather extremes and prolonged transports.

Strategies that regulated parties might use to prevent suffering due to excessive heat and humidity include:

Compliance with HAR s.146 is assessed by observing animals in a conveyance and evaluating if there are indicators of problems likely to be encountered due to ventilation issues including but not limited to:

13.0 Exposure to toxic or noxious things – HAR section 146.1

13.1 Required outcomes

Animals are protected from suffering, sustaining an injury or death by being exposed to anything that is toxic or noxious, including exhaust from the conveyance.

This section covers:

13.2 Guidance to regulated parties

Animals in transport must be protected from:

Regulated parties must take action to ensure ventilation during the transport process is sufficient to prevent avoidable animal suffering and death.

Compliance with this section will be assessed by observing animals in a conveyance and evaluating if there are problems likely to be encountered due to exposure to noxious things. Indications of exposure may include:

14.0 Space requirements – HAR section 147

14.1 Required outcomes

Animals are not subjected to avoidable suffering or death due to overcrowding.

There are 3 categories of animals specified in this section. They have different requirements for space, and head room in transport:
Category Space Requirements specified by 147(1)





(includes horses)

able to stand at all times with all feet on the floor, with head elevated,

with sufficient space to permit a full range of head movement

and without any part of its body coming into contact with a deck, roof or top of the conveyance or cover of the container

b poultry in a container
(not ratites)

able to maintain a squatting or sitting position

with sufficient space to permit a full range of head movement without coming into contact with the cover of the container

c All other animals (and poultry not confined in a container) able to maintain its preferred position with sufficient space to permit a full range of head movement.

Additionally, horses must be loaded on single deck vehicles (s. 147(2)).

14.2 Guidance to regulated parties

Adequate headroom is important to prevent physical and behavioural stress, and is also necessary to ensure adequate ventilation (reference: World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), Terrestrial Animal Health Code section 7.3.5 (6)(e)). Lack of headroom can lead to fear, panic, abrasions and other injuries, loss of balance and exhaustion.

"Headroom" is an outcome based requirement in the regulations.

The appropriate headroom depends on the anatomy and the behaviour of the specific animals in question. The required outcome is achieved if:

The requirements will vary with species, for example:

Equines are not to be transported in conveyances with multiple decks – these conveyances have been found to provide insufficient headroom for this species in general.

15.0 Overcrowding – HAR section 148

15.1 Required outcomes

No animal is transported in a way that it is overcrowded.

The regulation states that "overcrowding" occurs when, due to the number of animals:

Animals transported by air must be in a container that meets the stocking density guidelines set out in the IATA Live Animals Regulations, 44th edition, published by, and available for purchase from, the International Air Transport Association, as amended from time to time.

15.2 Guidance to regulated parties

This section covers animals transported in conveyances and containers (except those used in air transport).


Regulated parties must ensure animals are not overcrowded through appropriate planning and effective communication about loading densities.

Conveyances are not overloaded to prevent the panic and piling due to lack of space.

This is an outcome based regulation.

Compliance with HAR s.148 will be assessed by observing animals in a conveyance and evaluating if there is any indication of problems that occurred or were likely to be encountered due to overcrowding, such as animal to animal contact that results in:

Recommended loading densities and charts are provided in the NFACC Codes of Practice for some species. Remember that standard loading density charts apply to "ideal" situations: where fit, healthy animals are being transported under good conditions and should be used as a guideline. Each scenario must be evaluated case by case because there are many factors that impact these situations.

Loading densities must be adjusted for:

Loading density calculations must take into account the space available to animals. Do not include areas of the floor covered by physical obstacles as "available space". This can include such things as:


The appropriate number of animals for a load depends on the type and size of the animal in question, the condition of the animal, the kind of transport vehicle, the temperature, the humidity, what other animals are on the load, and many other factors.

16.0 Isolation – HAR section 149

16.1 Required outcomes

Incompatible animals are isolated from one another to prevent suffering, injury or death.

16.2 Guidance to regulated parties

Isolation is to be interpreted as the physical separation of animals from each other to minimize the potential for injury, suffering or death of an animal due to aggression, trauma, social dominance, or other forms of physical or psychological harm. (Both incompatible and compromised animals are isolated but for different reasons.)

This provision focuses on separating animals from others (e.g. different species, size, weight, age, etc.) for their safety.

An animal is deemed incompatible with another if it is likely to cause injury, suffering or death to the other animal.

The animals' general behavior patterns can usually be reasonably predicted based on factors such as condition, species, sex, age, breed, class, reproductive status, and the presence of young animals however other factors may be involved. Handlers are required to be aware of the potential incompatibility between animals and if in doubt, should isolate them.

Examples of animals that should be isolated include, but are not limited to:

Variables such as previous experience and temperament cannot be predicted based on species. Regulated parties must also make isolation decisions based on reports or observation of the specific animals, such as:

Most animals, when grouped together, require time to establish a social order, sometimes referred to as a "pecking order." As a result, unfamiliar animals should be mixed prior to loading to allow sufficient time for the establishment of a social order in a new group.

Species specific NFACC Codes of practice provide recommendations about isolation.

17.0 Conveyances and containers – HAR section 150

17.1 Required outcomes

Conveyances and containers are designed, constructed, equipped, maintained and used to prevent animal suffering, injury or death. In addition, the conveyance and the container, if the animal is within either, must:

If using a container on a conveyance, the container must be secured to the conveyance in a manner that prevents it from moving during transport.

In addition, animals must be visible from outside of the container or there must be readily visible signs indicating:

Air transport of animals must be done in a container that meets the design and construction requirements that are set out in the Live Animals Regulations (LAR) by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Use the most recent edition.

17.2 Guidance to regulated parties

Container requirements

The requirements apply to transport on land and on vessels. Some are prescriptive, and some are outcome based. For example, section 150 requires that a container meet all the requirements on the check list, and it describes the outcome that must be achieved: containers used must prevent animal suffering, injury or death. If a situation is not covered by specific prescriptive requirement list, only the outcome based requirement will be evaluated.

Consider factors such as the size, sex, temperament, behaviour patterns, infirmity, and the physical and physiological requirements of the animals when choosing a container.

Some examples of practices that are not compliant with this regulation, and are not suitable include:

Absorptive bedding

HAR 150(3) requires that floors of conveyances and containers for livestock, cervids, camelid or ratites be strewn with enough bedding material to absorb and prevent the pooling or escape of water, urine and liquid manure. This requirement is outcome based.

The reasons absorptive bedding material is required during animal transport include:

18.0 Vessels – HAR sections 151, 151.1, 151.2

18.1 Required outcomes

Vessels must:

If the duration of the transport is expected to exceed 6 hours, the sea carrier or vessel master shall, at least 24 hours before the departure, provide a veterinary inspector with:

Livestock and poultry on a vessel must not be transported in the vicinity of an engine casing or boiler room casing if it is likely to cause the animals to suffer, sustain an injury or die, unless the casing is covered and insulated in order to prevent their suffering, injury or death.

18.2 Guidance to regulated parties

Sea carriers are commercial carriers, and as such are subject to many of the same general requirements found in Part XII of the HAR and additional sections that reflect the challenge of transporting animals humanely by sea that are different those of land transport. All those involved directly and those who cause the confinement and transport of animals by sea share responsibility.

Animals must be prepared for the journey and cared for during a sea voyage.

The vessel must be designed, used and maintained so that:

Transportation by sea may last several weeks, during which there is no opportunity to unload the animals, or to access extra assistance, feed, water, or medical equipment or supplies. Extra precautions and careful planning are required to be prepared to face challenges during this type of transport. Small oversights may cause significant consequences to animal welfare.

Animals require additional protection from:

Preparation of Animals

To reduce animal stress and suffering, sea carriers are advised to:


Livestock or poultry are cared for by an adequate number of attendants or stockpersons for the animals being transported. There should be a sufficient number of attendants to ensure that each animal is provided with the care it needs to ensure its welfare throughout the entire journey. The determination is based on the training and skill level of the attendants, the type of feeding, watering and waste removal system on board (whether automated or not), on the number and species of animals transported and on the duration of the voyage.

Before leaving the port, notify the veterinary inspector of the intended transport by sea

In the case of sea voyages of 6 hours or more (this includes land transport conveyances that will be transported onto ferries for 6 hours or more), the following information for transport by sea (i.e. additional to the requirements of 154 (1)) must be provided to the veterinary inspector at least 24 hours prior to departure:

How to calculate the required amount of feed:
Days of voyage increments of 4 days Feed to have on board
1-4 1 Numbers of days of voyage plus 1
5-8 2 Numbers of days of voyage plus 2
9-12 3 Numbers of days of voyage plus 3
13-16 4 Numbers of days of voyage plus 4
16-20 5 Numbers of days of voyage plus 5

19.0 Feed, safe water and rest – HAR sections 152, 152.1, 152.2, 152.3, 152.4

19.1 Required outcomes

The date, time and place where the animal was last fed, watered and rested will be recorded at the time of loading by both commercial carriers and people transporting animals either during the course of business or for financial gain.

Animals will be provided with feed:

Animals will be provided with safe water in amounts that are sufficient to prevent them from becoming dehydrated.

Animals will be provided with rest that is appropriate for their species, age and condition in order to prevent the animals from suffering from exhaustion, and at intervals that do not exceed the following:

Table 1. FWR: Maximum allowed intervals without feed, water, and rest (s. 152.2(1))
Species and Class Maximum time interval (in hours) without feed, water, rest
Compromised animal of any species, size, age, sex, or breed 12

Livestock, cervids, and camelids that are 8 days of age or less

Ruminants that are too young to be fed exclusively on hay and grain

12 (single period, not repeated)


Broiler chickens, spent laying hens and rabbits

24 for safe water

28 for feed

Porcine 28
Equine 28
Bovine, and other adult ruminants that can be fed exclusively on hay and grain 36
All other animals 36
Day-old poultry (from the time of hatching) 72 (single period, not repeated)

An interval begins:

Section 152.2(4) breaks down the definition of what constitutes FWR intervals. A FWR interval begins when the animal last had access to all three elements so as soon as one element (i.e. F, W or R) is not available to the animal, the "clock" for the FWR interval has started.

Animals in the transport process must be monitored for FWR needs on a regular basis by those who transport them, or cause them to be transported. The "appropriate" frequency to monitor animals in transport will vary according to the situation.

When a conveyance is stopped to provide feed, safe water and rest to the animals, the following conditions are met:

Providing for FWR at prescribed maximum transport intervals is not required if containers meet all the following conditions (s. 152.4(2)):

Providing for FWR at prescribed maximum transport intervals is not required if containers meet all the following conditions (s. 152.4(2)):

19.2 Guidance to regulated parties

There are prescriptive maximum FWR requirements for poultry, rabbits, horses, pigs, compromised, and for all other animals (e.g. cattle, bison, turkeys, ducks, goats, sheep, ratites, cats, dogs) as well as outcome based requirements.

Each species and each class of animal has a unique physiology that dictates its feed and water requirements.

An individual animal's transport experience will affect its hunger, thirst and fatigue. This can include variables such as:

Commercial carrier and any other person transporting the animal in the course of business or for financial benefit are responsible for determining the date, time and place where the animal was last fed, watered and rested. The responsibility of deciding when to remove the feed prior to transport is jointly shared by producers, processing companies and other mandataries:

They are intended for the average animal that is deemed to be fit for the intended journey and within the species and class listed.

However, some animals may not be able to tolerate the above intervals, thus requiring feed, water and rest at more frequent intervals and possibly for longer periods between transport events.

Animals must be monitored on a regular basis throughout the transport continuum to determine if animals in the load require FWR prior to the maximum intervals.

If animals are approaching dehydration, a nutritional deficit or exhaustion (outcome based requirements), prior to reaching the maximum interval, the animal's needs must take precedence and the transporter take prompt action.

Example of the application of both outcomes based and prescriptive requirements

The maximum time limit to transport adult, healthy, fit pigs without FWR is 28 hours from the time of feed and water withdrawal on farm until the pigs are next offered feed, water and rest. However, on a very hot and humid day, pigs may suffer from dehydration after as few as 6 hours of transportation which, if feed and water are removed prior to loading as is generally done, may be 10-12 hours from last access. The operator of the conveyance is responsible for taking measures such as providing water to the pigs even though the maximum allowable time interval as described in 152.2 has yet to be reached. Should the operator of the conveyance ignore the needs of the animals and should the animals arrive at their final destination within the 28 hour time limit, but are determined to be dehydrated, exhausted and/or suffering from nutritional deficiencies, the transporter would be found non-compliant and may be subject to enforcement action.

It is important to note that even if feed, water or rest are provided to an animal to address its immediate needs, that a new interval does not begin until the animal has full access to feed and water and has been rested for a minimum of 8 hours.

CFIA inspector discretion with respect to enforcement of prescriptive FWR time intervals

Locations to provide feed, water and rest

Once the transporter determines that the animals must be fed, watered and rested, this can be done by unloading the animals at a suitable FWR station/location or on board a suitable conveyance. Such a facility or conveyance needs to have sufficient supplies of, and give each animal access to, feed and water and must have sufficient space for all of the animals to lie down at the same time without affecting the welfare of other animals in doing so. The conveyance or the facility must be well ventilated and held at a temperature that allows suitable rest and must provide the animals an environment that will keep them clean and dry, be well bedded and have secure footing.

Options include FWR locations or suitably equipped conveyances that meet all of the same requirements. It is acceptable and advisable to coordinate animal rest stops with driver rest stops if that is optimal to minimize transport and confinement times. It is important to note that rest is not considered to have occurred while a conveyance is moving. Therefore rest for the purposes of interval timing will only be deemed to have occurred when the load has not been moved for 8 or more hours.

There are benefits and disadvantages to the provision of FWR at FWR rest locations versus on board those conveyances that are suitably equipped. FWR rest locations can provide adequate conditions and facilities but require that animals be unloaded and therefore handled. They are however needed to address the animal's needs when the transport and confinement duration is prolonged. While providing FWR for animals while on board a conveyance can remove the need for unloading, the potential for handling stress and possible injury, there are concerns regarding space, the quality of rest, weather protection, bedding cleanliness, safe footing, air quality, and feed and water access that remain.

Rest Stop Requirements (s. 152.3)

Rest periods, must not be less than 8 consecutive hours (time to next required rest starts after the animal has been rested 8 hours).

When possible, animals should be kept in their transport groups. Ideally, pens should be designed to hold 1 or 2 truckloads with smaller pens for small lots.

All of the following conditions must be met when the conveyance is stopped for the purposes of providing animals with FWR:

Rough guidelines for stocking density for animals held overnight are published by the North American Meat Institute (NAMI) (325 kb, PDF) and are available online. They include the following guidelines:

Safe water for animals

Water must be safe for the animals and provide hydration.

Spraying crates, modules or trailers does not constitute access to potable water.

FWR (Poultry)

Note that the maximum time without feed (28 hours) for poultry is different than the time without water (24 hours). This is due to the fact that food sources in large poultry barns are (usually) removed 4 hours prior to catching/loading poultry, and water is (usually) available until time of catching and loading.

The poultry producer is responsible for causing the animals to be loaded. They must assess the condition of their animals prior to transport, and only those fit for transport are to be loaded. They must also provide the time of last FWR.

Catching crews can be hired as "agents" and be trained to assess the birds at the time of loading but this does not absolve producers of their responsibility under HAR.

Catching crews need to have the knowledge and skills required to do their job (loading is part of transport). Loading should be monitored so that no unfit birds are loaded by accident.

All laying hens, even if they have not yet reached their end of lay, are considered "spent laying hens". Birds that have produced eggs are more vulnerable during transport due to bone weakness, fatty liver/hemorrhage, and poor feathering. The maximum interval without access to safe water is 24 hours, and is 28 hours for feed and rest.

Pullets are captured under the requirements for "all other animals" for maximum FWR intervals (36 hours), as unlike laying hens, these birds have not yet laid eggs and not had a depletion of energy reserves.

Turkeys, ducks, broiler breeders and quail are categorized as "other animals" as far as maximum FWR intervals (36 hours).

Note, in all cases, for all bird types, the outcomes must also be met. If they need nutrition, water or rest along the way, their needs must be addressed. That is, shorter times may be needed to meet the required outcomes.

The requirement for access to feed for poultry would not be met by pouring feed over the crates or modules or putting plates of food in the crates or modules which creates competition and incompatibility.

Hydration for rabbits

Supplying lagomorphs (e.g. rabbits) with adequate quantities of lettuce and carrots may meet the requirement of them having access to feed and water because they are able to take approximately 80 percent of their water requirements from this type of feed.

HAR FWR requirements crossover with SFCR s.136 (FWR times in federal slaughter establishments)

A regulated party must comply with all legal requirements. Sometimes more than one Act and its regulations may apply to a situation.

In a federal slaughter plant, a license holder must comply with both the HAR and the SFCR.

When one regulation sets requirements that are stricter than the other, the license holder must comply with the one that is more strict.

Section 153(1) of the HAR says the responsibility of the animal's care is transferred to the consignee (slaughter establishment license holder) when they acknowledge receipt of the Transfer of Care notice.

The license holder is required by the HAR to comply with the FWR intervals set out in this section of the HAR:

Example 1: Broiler chickens (24hr for safe water, 28 for feed)

Example 2: Turkeys (36 hours maximum FWR interval)

When fully equipped conveyances are used for the transport of animals as per section 152.4

There is a difference between a fully equipped conveyance as defined in Part XII of the HAR 152.4 and a conveyance that is not fully equipped but is otherwise capable of meeting the feed, water and rest requirement as per 152.3 3 (suitably equipped conveyances). Suitably equipped conveyances are not fully equipped but are capable of meeting all of the requirement of a FWR rest locations – including space for all animals to lie down at the same time, fresh bedding etc., are permitted to provide feed, water and rest on board the conveyance (e.g. without unloading), but are not exempt from the maximum interval requirement in 152.2.

Fully equipped conveyances as defined in Part XII of the HAR 152.4 are equipped with additional requirements such as but not limited to environmental controls and monitoring systems. Regulated parties using these fully equipped conveyances are not required to meet maximum allowed time intervals. They must however meet the outcome based requirements for the provision of FWR as described in 152.1 as well as all other requirements in Part XII of the HAR.

Feed and water for sea transport: During transport by sea, animals must have access to feed and water, and are never to exceed the prescribed maximum intervals, even in the case of unanticipated delays (e.g. rough waters, international trade barriers, movement restrictions, etc.).  Sea carriers must consider the possibility of such delays in calculating feed and water requirements and must have an additional day of feed and water for every 4 days of planned journey time.  See vessels section for more information.

20.0 Transfer of care – HAR section 153

20.1 Required outcomes

To ensure continuity of care, no animal can be left at any slaughter facility, or assembly centre without a written notice of care agreement between the transporter and the consignee. This is done to ensure that the individual responsible for caring for the animals can be clearly identified at all times. These documents should be kept for 2 years.

The written document must include:

The consignee at the slaughter facility or assembly centre accepts responsibility for the animal's care, notably FWR provisions, as soon as the acknowledgement is provided.

20.2 Guidance to regulated parties

Section 153 applies only to animals delivered to slaughter establishments or assembly centres.

The format of the transfer of care document is left up to the regulated parties, however the document must be legible, contain the information prescribed by s.153, and be able to prove the transfer/acknowledgement of the animals. It is not mandatory for the consignee to be physically present, but they must acknowledge receipt of the load with written documentation that is retrievable and unalterable for legal purposes.

The document is intended to prevent gaps in time when no one is responsible for the animals care during the transport process (e.g. drop off of animals in the middle of the night to an assembly centre).

The transporter continues to be responsible for the animals in the load until written acknowledgement (from the consignee) is received.

The transfer of care document can be used to establish and verify which regulated party is responsible for the animals at a given time. Reviewing the particular situation will determine the accountability. Both parties have potential accountability since the regulations apply to both.

The transfer of care document provides both Regulated Party's with an opportunity to exercise due diligence and document if the animals are not in the condition the notice suggests.

Producers do not have to provide a transfer of care document to commercial carriers, as this action can be captured under s.138.3 (assessment) and s. 154 (records). The producer is responsible for the welfare of the animals in their care (whether they are onsite or not) until the animals are released to the transporter. Animal welfare on-farm is regulated by provincial law. A transfer of care document is not required because the accountability of the parties involved is clearly established in provincial law. However, if both parties want to use a similar notice and they agree on it, this document can be examine as part of a humane transport inspection.

Advice for the consignees

It is not acceptable to prolong animal suffering by refusing a shipment that contains animals that were shipped in a non-compliant manner. In this case, the consignee should document the issues, the timing and report their findings to both the transporter (immediately) and the CFIA (as soon as possible).

Document non-compliant loads and prioritize the processing/care of suffering animals. This includes unloading and handling unfit and compromised animals as required in the HAR sections 139 and 140.

Advice for Transporters

Documents that will help a regulated party verify their compliance with the regulation include:

A copy of the notice of arrival, the documentation (including the condition of the animal upon arrival, the date, time when and where was the last access to FWR and the date and time of arrival) and the acknowledgement of the notice and documentation from the consignee, may be requested by a CFIA inspector at any time. As such, regulated parties are advised to keep the transfer of care notices for at least 2 years.

The consignee is advised to assess the animal carefully prior to submitting the acknowledgment of receipt to the transporter. As well, the transporter is advised to carefully identify and to note any concerns prior to loading and to clearly detail the issues and measures taken as well any changes in condition to the consignee to ensure that all parties are aware of the actions required to adequately care for the animal in question.

The format of the transfer of care is left to the regulated parties, however the documents must be legible and must contain at a minimum:

When a load is determined to contain unfit animals or animals that are otherwise considered to have been transported in a manner that is non-compliant: the consignee, upon inspecting the load, may determine that there are animals contained therein that were not transported in full compliance with regulatory requirements.

The load should not be rejected over concerns of enforcement action. The consignee is to document the issues and the timing and report their findings to CFIA as soon as possible. A CFIA inspector will assess the situation and consider whether there may have been a non-compliance with Part XII. The animals are to be handled in accordance with sections 139 and 140.


A load of 150 hogs is received at a slaughter establishment and contains 3 dead animals and several others that are determined to be compromised without having been given adequate provisions. One is non-ambulatory. Some were clearly loaded as unfit in that they have body conditions scores of 1 and as such would have been emaciated at the time of loading. The consignee is concerned that CFIA will assess the animals and take enforcement action with the receiver. In this case and in order to assist in verifying compliance prior to that time, the consignee is to identify the concerns to the transporter immediately. While the acknowledgement of receipt of the shipment will transfer the responsibility of care to the consignee, identification of pre-existing conditions as identified in the example will assist in verifying compliance before that time.

Prolonging animal suffering by refusing a shipment that contains animals that were shipped in a non-compliant manner in order to avoid potential enforcement action is strongly discouraged. Accurate documentation of concerns at the time of acknowledgement of receipt of animals will expedite appropriate and targeted enforcement action. Regulated parties are advised to contact CFIA and to document all relevant information on non-compliant loads and to prioritize the processing and/or the care of suffering animals in a manner that meets the requirements of the regulation.

21.0 Record keeping for transport (commercial carriers and those who transport in the course of business or for financial benefit) – HAR section 154

21.1 Required outcomes

Commercial carriers and those who transport animals in the course of business or for financial benefit must keep, records related to the movement of those animals. Records must be made prior to departure and during transport.

The regulation prescribes the information to be contained in the records:

Any changes to the information above, must be noted as soon as possible (s. 154(2)), and the following information must be added to the record when transport ends:

These written records must be kept for a period of 2 years (HAR s. 91.3)

21.2 Guidance to regulated parties

The Health of Animals Act (s. 35(1)) requires that regulated parties provide accurate information.

The format of the record is not prescribed. The regulated party can choose the format of the records.

The records must:

FWR requirements: record the last time the animals had access to FWR and who gave you that information.

Scenario: The conveyor or auger is shut off at 4 am on day 1.

Carriers must add information as it becomes available:

Duplication of record keeping requirements: The regulated party does not have to repeat information in separate documents. A single document that meets all needs is acceptable. Although CFIA does not prescribe the format, it should be noted that the records, or a copy, must be available if requested by CFIA.

22.0 Dead and seriously injured animals – HAR section 155

22.1 Required outcomes

Every air carrier and sea carrier (on the completion of a flight or a sea voyage), at the port of embarkation, will:

22.2 Guidance to regulated parties

This is a specific requirement for reporting of negative outcomes when animals are moved by air and sea, and is in addition to the records requirement (provision 154).

23.0 Coming into force

Part XII came into force on the first anniversary of the day on which it is published in the Canada Gazette, Part II (February 20, 2020).

CFIA will implement a 2 year compliance promotion period for the maximum prescriptive feed, water and rest intervals for all sectors. For these time intervals from February 20, 2020, for 2 years, the CFIA will focus its activities on compliance promotion through education and awareness measures, which are part of the CFIA's continuum of enforcement actions.

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 (e.g. from adverse weather, overcrowding or other conditions). With respect to the feed, water, and rest outcome-based requirements, animals are to be provided with feed, water and rest during a transport journey in order to ensure they do not suffer from exhaustion, a nutritional deficit or dehydration. The CFIA has the discretion to enforce these outcome-based requirements to prevent and act on situations where animal welfare is compromised.

Appendix 1 – Definitions and key terms used for the humane transport of animals (those marked with * are defined within Part XII of the HAR)

This section clarifies the meaning of specific terms as they are used for the purpose of the Health of Animals Regulations (HAR) – Part XII and will be posted shortly.

Appendix 2 – Example contingency plan template

A contingency plan can be verbal or written. Where a non-compliance is identified due to an unforeseen occurrence, such as an accident or road closure, a clear contingency plan may be requested to verify compliance with the HAR. Failure to have a contingency plan is a violation of section 138.2 of the HAR. The plan can be in a number of formats but a written plan will allow for ready access and quick response time.

Provided below is a list of factors to consider when creating a contingency plan and an example of emergency contacts and links to put in a contingency plan (Form 1). As well, an example of a transportation event where a contingency plan would be used is provided (Form 2). These templates may be useful in full or in part depending on type of transporter. The regulated party is not under any obligation to use these. The specific needs of each transporter and load will need to be considered in the design and content of each unique contingency plan.

The NFACC Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Dairy Cattle also contains a template for consideration (refer to Dairy code – Appendix I).

Form 1. Example animal transport contingency plan development template

A contingency plan can take many forms. It is vital that animal transport companies keep animal welfare top of mind and keep their cargo moving in the face of obstacles and challenges. Being prepared with clear contingency plans and communication strategies will safeguard the animals in your care and help your organization remain agile during unforeseen challenges. An effective game plan helps you take care of your team, the animals in your care and your clients, with minimal disruption.

Photo – Form 1. Example animal transport contingency plan development template. Description follows.
Text version

Legend – steps taken to work through your contingency plan:
Red octagon = stop when a humane transport issue arises
Green rectangle with red outline = take action to address the humane transport issue
Green rectangles = assess the situation and engage your contingency plan (actively doing something to monitor/resolve issue)
Blue diamond = keep all those involved informed (everyone who needs to be in the communication loop)

Company Name (s) space

Address of the company: space

Driver has been briefed on the contingency plan YES Box NO Box

Driver humane transport training Box

Type space

Expiry date space

GOAL STATEMENT (this is an example, customize to reflect your companies contingency planning goals): Take action to protect animals from suffering , injury and death in the event of emergency or change in plans. Human safety and animal welfare are our highest priority.

Communication plan:

Who must be contacted when a situation is identified?

Who will activate the required contingency procedures?

Expected preparation process – What carriers should do prior to loading of animals

Select only healthy animals that are fit for transport, document unusual situations and the actions that you took to protect animal welfare.

Standard animal monitoring process_ en route (this will vary with species, class of animal , length and type of transport, weather, other risk factors – adjust as needed for your organization).

Potential hazards/ events/ challenges or deviations:

Carriers should be familiar with what actions they are expected to take if they encounter these situations, possible disruptions or challenges. The list for each company will vary, this is a suggestion. Adjust as required to suit your organization.

Potential carrier actions to ensure human and animal safety – These are examples of possible actions to consider in response to challenges that may be encountered. The appropriate decisions and actions taken in any given situation will vary depending on the nature of the disruption and the circumstance. Choose only those that are appropriate.

Example contingency plan: emergency contacts/ services providers and links (can send with driver)

Producer / source emergency contact

Receiver / consignee contacts (and emergency contacts)

Company emergency contacts:

Crisis contact numbers to consider including in your contingency planning:

Industry related links and websites to consider including in your contingency planning

Form 2. Example contingency plan event documention form: a blank copy could be provided to carriers to document their actions when a contigency plan is activated

GOAL STATEMENT (this is an example, customize to reflect your companies contingency planning goals): Take action to protect animals from suffering, injury and death in the event of emergency or change in plans. Human safety and animal welfare are our highest priority

Photo – Form 2. Example contingency plan event documention form: a blank copy could be provided to carriers to document their actions when a contigency plan is activated. Description follows.
Text version

Legend – steps taken to work through your contingency plan:
Red octagon = stop when a humane transport issue arises
Green rectangle with red outline = take action to address the humane transport issue
Green rectangles = assess the situation and engage your contingency plan (actively doing something to monitor/resolve issue)
Blue diamond = keep all those involved informed (everyone who needs to be in the communication loop)

Company name and contact details

Date space

Driver briefed on the contingency plan YES Box NO Box

Producer (or animal source) emergency contacts2

Receiver/ consignee emergency contacts

Tranport challenge/ irregularity / deviation identified by carrier

Animal welfare related actions taken by carrier

Carrier's comunication activities: refer to contact lists

Who was contacted/informed?
Contact made by:


  • Radio to dispatch
  • Text
  • Automated system
  • Email
  • Telephone

It can be helpful to (briefly) document your understanding of decisions that were made or instructions that were given to you.

Load information (OR attach copy to Animal Transport Record already in place or file number)

1. Preloading assessment of load:

All animals were fit for transport YES Box NO Box if no, fill out section below or attach copy of Animal Transport Record (or file number)

2. Routine Animal Monitoring procedures followed during transport process:

All animal OK YES Box NO Box if no, fill out section below OR attach copy of Animal Transport Records (or file number)

Time space Location space

Document the transport deviation or challenge identified, include: Description of event, contingency actions you took to prevent additional animal suffering, identification of animals involved, who you informed/consulted and/or any additional concerns or comments you have:

Appendix 3 – Pre-transport screening and monitoring of animals


This procedure is provided as a starting point/guideline for the convenience of regulated parties who choose to use it.

Assessment and monitoring of animals

Assess animals prior to transport to identify animals/flocks that show signs of being affected with a disease or condition that could prevent their transport or make special handling for welfare reasons necessary.

Review required documentation

Detecting animals with noticeable abnormalities

Record your findings on the animal transport record and any notes.

Signs/ types of abnormalities to look for

To identify what is not normal, transporters must be able to recognize what is normal for the species and type of animals they are working with (steers vs fat cattle, market vs cull animals).

With experience and knowledge, you will be able to judge conditions that deviate from normal and could impact transport.

Some abnormalities have only minor significance (e.g. as cow with an extra teat, a hog with no tail, minor cuts). These don't need to be segregated to meet the intent of the HAR. If in doubt, discuss with your supervisor, a licensed veterinarian or a transport mentor.

Abnormalities in breathing usually refers to frequency of respiration but there are also other abnormalities such as frequent coughing and difficulty in breathing. Examples of abnormal breathing are:

If the breathing pattern differs from normal, the animal should be carefully evaluated to determine if transport will have an impact on the animals welfare and what steps need to be taken.

Abnormalities in behaviour can be significant in some very serious diseases such as rabies and lead poisoning. Examples are, an animal:

Caution: animals that behave in an abnormal way should be segregated, carefully evaluated (contact your veterinarian to have assesses) as they may not be fit for transport. Such animals can be a danger to other animals or to humans.

Abnormalities in gait are noticed when an animal moves differently or is reluctant to move; it usually indicates there is pain somewhere. The animal may be suffering from abnormalities anywhere in its limbs or may have pain in the chest or abdomen. Abnormal gaits can also indicate nervous disorders.

Abnormalities in posture are noticed when an animal may:

Sometimes normal animals may temporarily assume postures that can be mistaken for abnormal postures for example, a cow that has rested a long time may stretch and stand with its legs out front; also, resting cattle sometimes have their head turned along their side. In normal animals, this posture disappears when the animal is stimulated.

A frequently observed abnormal posture is a "downer" which is an animal that cannot stand or can only stand for short periods. Such animals must be handled without causing undue suffering and must be rendered unconscious if moving them causes undue pain (see the handling unfit animal section of this document).

Abnormal discharges or protrusions from body openings include:

Abnormalities in appearance (conformation)

You may see many of these when working with animals. Whenever there is a change in the normal conformation of an animal, evaluate the animal carefully to determine if the condition might affect its welfare during transport. Examples are:

It can be helpful to compare both sides of the animal if one side looks unusual. Evaluate animals affected by one of these abnormalities carefully to determine if the condition might affect their welfare during transport.

Abnormal colour is generally not as important as the other abnormalities, however, it can indicate other problems. Examples are:

What should you record in your assessment?

This record shows that you did your due diligence and is a record of your compliance with the regulatory requirements of pre-transport animal assessment and monitoring. It indicates:

Appendix 4 – Example animal transport record template

Record of livestock movement

This document would need to be filled and updated each time animals are loaded, unloaded and provided with feed water and rest.

Note that you may be required to report parts of the information provided herein under other Federal and Provincial Regulations.



The shipper is the owner of the animals loaded in the vehicle (Optional) YES Box NO Box

Departure Premises Identification number (PID) and name:

PID:  space  Name:  space


Contact information in case of emergency


Driver(s) Name(s):

Province and License Plate number of the conveyance transporting the animals (including trailer):

Name and address of the transport company:

Conveyance or container last cleaned and disinfected
Date:  space  Time:  space  Place:  space

Driver has been briefed on the contingency plan YES Box NO Box

Driver has received humane transport training YES Box NO Box

Feed water and rest (add more on second sheet if necessary)

Last access to feed, water and rest (FWR) prior to loading

Date:  space  Time:  space Place:  space

If FWR was provided during transport:
Animals unloaded Box
Date:  space  Time:  space  Place:  space

Provided onboard Box

Loading of the vehicle (add more on second sheet if necessary)

Date of loading (dd/mm/yyyy):

Time of loading:

AM Box PM Box

Area – Floor or container area available to animals (m2 or ft2):

Loading density:

Animals per floor area (Kg/m2 or lbs/ft2):

Loading of a vehicle
*include diagram of the relevant vehicle so that driver can record animals per compartment

Area – Floor or container area available to animals (m2 or ft2):

Loading density (optional):

Animals per unit floor area (Kg/m2 or lbs/ft2):

Animals loaded

Animal(s) description (species, group of age, approximate weight, purpose) Quantity of animals

All animals have been determined to be fit for transport YES Box NO Box

Number of compromised animals loaded:

Compromised animal(s), identification description and measures taken:

Number and identification of animal(s) with special needs and measures taken:

Delivery information



Account identification number of the consignee in the database of the responsible administrator (Optional):

Destination and Premises Identification number (PID) and name:

PID:  space  Name:  space


Contact number in case of emergency

Date of arrival (dd/mm/yyyy):

Time of arrival: AM Box PM Box

Arrival: All animals arrived in good condition  YES Box  NO Box
(If NO, complete box on right)

Description of transport related conditions and actions taken to address prior to arrival:

Additional animal welfare concerns for the consignee to be aware of YES Box  NO Box
(If YES, complete box on right)

Shipper Signature:

Transporter Signature:

Consignee Signature:

The transfer of care from the transporter to the receiver occurs immediately upon acknowledgement of the shipment and the accompanying documentation by the receiver.

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