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Transporting unfit or compromised animals

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) regulates the humane treatment of all animals being transported into, within, and out of Canada by enforcing the Health of Animals Regulations (Part XII) Transport of Animals.

All persons involved in the transport of animals must ensure that every animal being transported is assessed as being fit for the trip and that all relevant provisions of the regulations are met.

If an animal becomes unfit or compromised before, during or after being transported, reasonable measures must be taken to prevent unnecessary suffering. As soon as possible, the animal must be transported to receive care or be humanely killed or have the animal humanely killed while on the conveyance.

Unfit animals (as described in the Regulations) are not to be transported unless it is to receive care recommended by a veterinarian. If transported, they must be loaded, confined, transported and unloaded in accordance with the provisions of the Regulations (refer to section 139(2)) to prevent suffering, injury or death. Compromised animals (as described in the Regulations) are not to be transported to assembly centres, including auction markets. They may be transported if they are isolated from other animals, are loaded and unloaded individually without having to negotiate any ramps within the conveyance, and transported to the nearest place where they can receive care or be humanely killed. They must also be provided with feed, water and rest at a maximum, every 12 hours (fewer if needed to meet required outcomes). They must be loaded, confined, transported and unloaded in accordance with the provisions of the Regulations (refer to section 140(1)) to prevent suffering, injury and death.

Signs of an unfit animal

Signs of a compromised animal

Note

Calves 8 days and under are prohibited from being transported to assembly centres, including auction markets.

Lactating animals that cannot be milked to prevent engorgement must reach a destination where they can be milked or slaughtered before becoming engorged. Animals with mammary engorgement will be considered compromised or unfit.

All regulated parties are required to be aware of all applicable provisions in Part XII of the regulations.

Learn more about humane transport and animal welfare in Canada.

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