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Chapter 5 - Export to the U.S.
5.4 Sheep and goats under 12 months for feeding (updated June 2015)

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Health certification

1. The feedlot of destination must have prior approval from U.S. Veterinary Services to receive feeder sheep and goats from Canada.

2. The HA2186 Export Sheep or Goats for Feeding from Canada to the United States of America export certificate and the "Agent or Owner's and/or Exporter's Declaration" must be used.

3. Sheep and goats for export were born in the United States (U.S.) or Canada and have been in no other region, or were legally imported from a BSE-free region and have been unconditionally authorized to move freely in Canada for at least 60 days prior to exportation.

4. The sheep and goats for export must have been kept in Canada or the U.S. during the 60 days immediately preceding the date of shipment to the U.S. and, during those 60 days, Canada must have been free from foot-and-mouth disease and rinderpest.

5. Sheep and goats for export must not be pregnant or must have been castrated. The non-applicable statement must be struck out and initialed by the accredited veterinarian.

6. The animals for export must not be in quarantine in Canada.

7. Uncastrated sheep and goats must be accompanied by an import permit obtained in advance from the following:

Live Animal Import Permits
USDA-APHIS Veterinary Services
National Import Export Services
4700 River Road, Unit 39
Riverdale, Maryland 20737

The permit is valid for 14 days from the date specified on the application as the "proposed arrival date."

8. Sheep and goats must be less than 12 months of age when imported into the U.S.

9. The sheep and goats must have been subject to a ruminant feed ban equivalent to the requirements established by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

10. Sheep and goats for export must have been inspected and found to be free from any evidence of communicable disease and, as far as it can be determined, must not have been exposed to any such disease during the 60 days immediately preceding the date of shipment.

11. No tests are required for sheep and goats exported to the U.S. for feeding.

Certification procedure

12. Within the 30 days before the planned export date, an accredited veterinarian must inspect each animal presented for export.

13. For sheep, the official ear tag is a tag approved by CFIA (or a tag deemed equivalent) under the Livestock Identification and Traceability (TRACE) Program. These tags follow the ISO 11784 standard format with 15 digits, and may be electronic or non-electronic. The first 6 digits (124000) are not always printed on sheep tags.

14. For goats, the official ear tag is a CFIA HofA (Health of Animal) tag, which must be applied to the left ear. Refer to module 2.1 Identification of livestock for further information regarding the use of HofA tags and record keeping. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Regulations require imported goats from Canada to be officially identified with a unique individual identification traceable to the premises of origin. Goats may only be certified if the accredited veterinarian knows the birth premises of each animal being shipped. While the birth premises do not have to be included on the export certificate, the veterinarian must keep a permanent record of the premises in case of inquiry by the USDA or audit.

15. All tags must be clean and readable. All numbers that appear on the ear tag must be recorded on the export certificate.

Note: While it is not a USDA requirement that the ear tag numbers be listed in ascending numerical order on the certificate, accredited veterinarians are encouraged to complete certificates in this manner. This practice will facilitate inspection at the U.S. port of entry and minimize delays.

16. In addition to the above official tag requirements, the sheep and goats must be permanently and humanely identified before arrival at the port of entry to the U.S. Each animal must bear a "C" mark applied with a freeze brand, hot iron, or other permanent method. This mark must be easily visible and legible on the live animal. The mark must also be visible on the carcass before skinning. The mark cannot be less than one inch (25 mm) or more than 1¼ inches (32 mm) high and must have been applied on the animal's right hip, high on the tail-head.

17. Other means of permanent identification as required in article 16 may be used if requested in writing and approved before export by the National Import Export Services of the USDA.

Age determination

18. All the animals in the shipment must be under 12 months of age.

19. The determination of the age of the animals may be based on information obtained from the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency (CCIA) or Agri-traçabilité Québec (ATQ) databases, from other records that provide evidence (including birth farm records) acceptable to the accredited veterinarian, or on the examination of the dentition of each animal by the accredited veterinarian or their designated technician. Methods for determining age on the basis of dentition are described below.

20. If the dental examination is used to determine age, it is preferable for the inspection to be conducted during the 14 days preceding export.

Note: For the purposes of certification of sheep and goats for export to the U.S., an animal is considered to be less than 12 months of age if all the deciduous incisors are present. Any sheep or goat that has shed one of the first deciduous incisor teeth is considered to be 12 months of age or older, whether or not the permanent incisor teeth have started to erupt.

Small Ruminant Dentition. Description follows.

Description for Image - Small Ruminant Dentition

One page with 8 images in two columns of four images.

First image left column consists of a lamb's head with the teeth exposed by human hands holding back the animal's lips. Under the image is the word "lamb."
To the right of the first image is a top view drawing of a sheep's jaw with the teeth numbered and captions for "'median line" pointing to the centre of the palate and the word "Lamb."

Second image left column consists of a lamb's head with the teeth exposed by human hands holding back the animal's lips with the caption "Two Tooth (1-2 years old) two permanent incisors"
To the right of the second image is a top view drawing of a sheep's jaw with the teeth numbered and the caption "Age 1-1½ years old".

Third image left column consists of a lamb's head with the teeth exposed by human hands holding back the animal's lips with the caption "2-3 year old".
To the right of the third image is a top view drawing of a sheep's jaw with the teeth numbered and the caption " Age 2-2½ years"

Fourth image left column consists of a lamb's head with the teeth exposed by human hands holding back the animal's lips with the caption "3-4 year old".
To the right of the fourth image is a top view drawing of a sheep's jaw with the teeth numbered and the caption "Age 3-3½ years".

How to complete the Canadian health certificate (HA2186)

21. The accredited veterinarian must use the most recent version of the HA2186 export certificate.

22. In the column "AGE (Months)(Estimated)," the actual age or an estimated age in months must be indicated. An entry such as "less than 12 months" is not acceptable.

23. The accredited veterinarian must complete the export health certificate by entering all the necessary information with the exception of the number of animals in the shipment and the seal numbers. The "Reference number" is assigned by the CFIA district office. The completed and signed health certificate and owner/exporter's declaration will be submitted to a CFIA veterinary inspector to review and, if all requirements are met, it will be endorsed. Any incomplete export certificates will be returned to the accredited veterinarian for completion. A fee is charged for CFIA endorsement. Once endorsed, certificates are returned to the accredited veterinarian, and the owner/exporter's declaration is kept at the district office with a copy of the certificate. The health certificate is valid for 30 days from the date of inspection.

24. The accredited veterinarian or their technician must, on the day of export, return to the farm and apply CFIA seals to the transporting vehicles, after verifying that only the animals listed on the export certificate are included in the shipment. A CFIA seal must be applied to every door on the trailer.

25. The accredited veterinarian or their technician must record the number of animals in the shipment and the CFIA seal numbers in the appropriate sections on the endorsed original health certificate, and initial the appropriate section. It is not necessary to repeat this information on the copies of the certificate, but veterinarians must record it on the copy kept in their offices.

26. During loading, if animals must be removed from the shipment after the health certificate has been endorsed by the CFIA veterinary inspector, accredited veterinarians should not cross out any of these animals that are listed on the health certificate. In such cases the accredited veterinarian or their technician must provide two copies of an Addendum: one copy to accompany the shipment, and one to be included in the accredited veterinarian's file. Sample copies of an addendum are available in the district offices. This is not a CFIA document and does not bear the CFIA logo. It may be used as is or printed on the veterinary clinic's letterhead. The addendum must include a description of the animals that were not loaded and their official or approved tag identification numbers.

27. If the seals are broken or missing, or if they do not match the seal numbers recorded on the health certificate, the shipment will be refused entry into the U.S.

28. The routing of the shipment must be based on information provided by the exporter and must include the names of the main highways to be followed in Canada and the U.S. and the name of the location where the animals were loaded in Canada.

29. The official Canadian health certificate (HA2186) endorsed by a CFIA veterinary inspector and two copies of the certificate must accompany each export shipment. A separate health certificate must be issued for each vehicle.

Note: Each truckload constitutes one shipment; therefore, a separate original health certificate must be issued for each vehicle.

30. Before arrival at the U.S. border, the seals cannot be broken by anyone other than a CFIA inspector or a person under the inspector's supervision. If the exporter asks to transfer animals from one truck to another after leaving the farm of origin, the transfer must be performed under the direct supervision of a CFIA inspector. The CFIA inspector will issue an official letter to confirm the change in the seal numbers. The CFIA will charge a fee for this service.

Use and control of CFIA seals

31. The export of sheep and goats to the U.S. must be done in vehicles that are sealed at the location from which the animals are being shipped. Seals must be applied by the accredited veterinarian who signs the certificate or by a technician designated by the accredited veterinarian.

32. To perform this function, accredited veterinarians or their technicians must be designated under the Health of Animals Act to affix seals. Contact the CFIA district veterinarian to obtain this designation.

33. Accredited veterinarians will provide the CFIA district veterinarian with the names of any technicians able to perform the duties of sealing vehicles for the shipment of sheep and goats to the U.S. This list must be updated as soon as changes in staff are made.

34. The CFIA's Animal Health district office will provide seals for the vehicles. Seals may be allocated to an accredited veterinarian or to a veterinary clinic when more than one accredited veterinarian is employed by the same clinic.

35. The district office will keep records containing the seal numbers and the names of the accredited veterinarians or veterinary clinics to which the seals were distributed.

36. Once seals are applied to all possible exits of a vehicle transporting livestock, accredited veterinarians or their designated technicians must record the numbers on the official export certificate in the appropriate section and initial the appropriate section.

37. Accredited veterinarians must keep records of the seals that are used. Seal numbers must be matched with export certificate numbers. These records must be kept for a minimum of three years.

38. Accredited veterinarians must submit, upon request, a list of the seals used and the corresponding export certificate numbers to the CFIA's Animal Health district office. The following list can be put in a table and used to submit this information. The document can be sent by facsimile, electronic mail or regular mail.

Inspections at U.S. ports of entry

39. The sheep and goats for feeding will be unloaded at the U.S. port of entry for individual inspection.

40. The animals must be presented at the U.S. port of entry by appointment. The shipment must be accompanied by U.S. Veterinary Services Form 17-29 (Declaration of Importation) and the official Canadian health certificate (HA2186).

41. Refer to module 5.1 Export to the U.S.- General for the list of land ports of entry designated as having the necessary inspection facilities for the entry of animals from Canada. Although the list was provided by the USDA, it is the exporters' responsibility to present their animals to a U.S. port of entry that has the facilities required for the unloading and inspection of such animals.


Export certificate HA2186 and the Agent or Owner and/or Exporter's Declaration are available from your district veterinarian. He may also provide you with a sample of the Addendum for Animals Not Included in the Shipment, which can be printed on your official letterhead.

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