CANADA, Ottawa. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) understands the importance of the health and wellbeing of animals to Canadians and the Canadian economy. This marks an important achievement with the publication of amendments to the Health of Animals Regulations (Part XII) on animal transportation.
"As a veterinarian, I am happy to say that Canada has improved the well-being of animals during the entire transportation process. The changes to the humane transport regulations better align Canada's requirements with international partners (for example the United States, Australia and the European Union), as well as the OIE's animal welfare standards for animals transported by land, air and sea," commented Dr. Jaspinder Komal, Canada's Chief Veterinary Officer.
The amendments are the product of extensive consultations with farm groups, transporters, members of the public and interested groups, which resulted in an unprecedented number of responses to the CFIA's proposals. They also take into account the latest research on animal transportation and international standards. By establishing clear and science-informed requirements, the regulations better reflect the needs of animals and improve overall animal welfare in Canada.
These new, stronger regulations include both prescriptive and outcome-based requirements that emphasize and improve the health and wellbeing of the animals during the entire transportation process. The amendments will also increase consumer confidence, strengthen Canada's international trade status and facilitate market access.
The overall objective is that animals arrive at their destination safely, and are suitably fed, hydrated and rested. These amendments go beyond transport journey times to cover the full time an animal is prepared for transit to the time they are installed in their new location. The new regulations are more detailed with respect to the different needs of different types of animals and specify intervals for transporters to provide food, water and rest.
Everyone involved in the transportation of animals in Canada must comply with the Health of Animals Act and the amended regulations. The CFIA will be providing guidance to industry to help them comply with the new regulations. If non-compliance is found, the CFIA will use a range of enforcement and compliance tools available to take action.
The new regulations will come into effect in February 2020. This one-year transition will allow the animal transport industry to prepare for the amended regulations before they are enforced.