The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has announced changes to Canada’s humane transport requirements under the Health of Animals Regulations that will better align with its international partners.
“As a veterinarian, I am happy to say that Canada has improved the well-being of animals during the entire transportation process,” says Jaspinder Komal, Canada’s chief veterinary officer. “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.”
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. Over 51,000 comments (from over 11,000 respondents) were received during extensive consultations with the public, producers, veterinarians, industry and international organizations, animal advocacy groups, transporters, researches, law groups and others.
They also take into account the latest research on animal transportation and international standards. The new regulations include both prescriptive and outcome-based requirements that emphasize and improve the health and well-being of the animals during the entire transportation process. The overall objective is that animals arrive at their destination safely, and are suitably fed, hydrated and rested. The new policies 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 CFIA says the amendments will also increase consumer confidence, strengthen Canada’s international trade status and facilitate market access.
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.