Transport Information

Ensuring excellent animal welfare outcomes is a goal of both the industry and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). CFIA has a mandate to enforce Canada’s Health of Animals legislation, including updates made to the transport of animals provisions in Part XII of the Health of Animals Regulations. The amended regulations came into force on February 20, 2020.

NOTABLE CHANGES TO THE TRANSPORT REGULATIONS

Animal Transport and Transfer of Care Records
Under the amended regulations, every commercial carrier or any person who transports animals in the course of business and/or for financial benefit, regardless of the quantity, frequency or duration of animal transports, are required to keep records related to the movement of those animals. There are two required records under the regulations depending on the transportation circumstance:

TRANSFER OF CARE RECORD
REQUIRED WHEN: animals are transported by a farmer or commercial carrier to an abattoir, assembly yard or an auction market

  • The date and time the animal(s) arrived at the abattoir, assembly yard, community pasture or auction market
  • The condition of the animal(s) on arrival
  • The date, time and the place where the animal(s) was last fed, watered and rested

ANIMAL TRANSPORT RECORD
REQUIRED WHEN: animals are transported by a commercial carrier regardless of destination

  • The names and addresses of the shipper, receiver and the driver
  • Date, time and place where the animal(s) is loaded
  • The number, description and weight (actual if available or estimate) of the animal(s)
  • The date, time and the place where the animal(s) was last fed, watered and rested prior to loading, and then updated if animals are fed, watered and rested during the journey
  • An identification number (license or registration number) of the trailer in which the animals are moved
  • The floor space available to the animal(s) on the trailer
  • The date and place where the trailer was last cleaned and disinfected

To assist beef farmers and our industry’s service providers in complying with the revised regulations, BFO has developed an Animal Transport Record, which includes the required transfer of care documentation as outlined in the regulation. Hard copy booklets, in triplicate form, can be accessed through the BFO office and are available to auction markets, producers and transporters, free of charge. If you would like a hard copy booklet mailed to you, please contact the office.

Compromised and Unfit Animals
Under the amended regulations, the definitions for unfit and compromised animals, for transportation purposes, have been updated. Unfit cattle must not be transported unless being taken directly to a place (outside of a processing establishment or assembly center) to receive veterinary care and meets the following conditions:

  • it is individually loaded and unloaded without having to negotiate any ramps inside the conveyance;
  • it is isolated during confinement and transport;
  • measures are taken to prevent the animal’s unnecessary suffering, injury or death during loading, confinement, transport and unloading; and
  • a veterinarian recommends that the animal be transported to receive veterinary care.

Compromised cattle may only be transported under the following conditions:

  • it is isolated (or transported with one other animal with which it is familiar if to do so is unlikely to cause either animal suffering, injury or death and if they are segregated from other animals)
  • it is individually loaded and unloaded without having to negotiate any ramps inside the conveyance;
  • measures are taken that are necessary to prevent the animal’s suffering, injury or death during loading, confinement, transport and unloading; and
  • it is transported directly to the nearest place, other than an assembly center, where it can receive care or be humanely killed.

Contingency Plans
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:

  • there are any unforeseen delays or circumstances that could cause avoidable suffering, injury or death
  • an animal becomes compromised or unfit during loading, confinement, transport or unloading

Feed/Water/Rest Intervals:

Provision (Regulations from 1977) (Amended Regulations 2020)
Transport Continuum Focus mainly on time in confinement Feed, water, rest (FWR) times begin when FW are removed before loading and do not end until the animal received FWR. It contains the confinement time.
Ruminants Max. 48 hr of transport confinement Max. 36 hr without FWR
All livestock (including ruminants) 8 days of age or less, or too young to be fed exclusively on hay or grain Max. 18 hr of transport confinement Max. 12 hr without FWR
Compromised Animals Not specified Max. 12 hr without FWR
Rest Period 5 hr 8 hr
Ramps 45 degrees 25 degrees

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q1 When do I need to use a transfer of care document? 
A transfer of care document needs to be used when livestock are transported by a farmer or commercial carrier to an abattoir, assembly yard or an auction market. The required information includes when the animals arrived, their condition and when they were last fed, watered and rested.
 
Q2 As a farmer, what record do I need when transporting my calves to a feedlot or another farm?
If you are transporting your own animals from farm to farm, the animal transport and transfer of care records are NOT required. A transfer of care document would be required if the animals were being transported to an abattoir, assembly yard or an auction market. A animal transport record would be required if the animals were being transported by a commercial carrier to another farm. 
 
Q3 As a farmer, what record do I need when transporting my animals to a community pasture?
If you are transporting your own animals to a community pasture, a transfer of care record IS NOT required. If your animals are being transported by a commercial carrier to a community pasture, only an animal transport record is required. 
 
Q4 As a farmer, what record do I need when transporting my animals to an auction market or abattoir?
If you are transporting your own animals to an auction market or abattoir, a transfer of care record IS required. If your animals are being transported by a commercial carrier to an auction market or abattoir, a transfer of care AND an animal transport record are required. 
 
Q5 As a farmer, what record do I need when transporting my cattle to another one of my properties using a commercial transporter? 
Because the cattle are moving from farm to farm, transfer of care documentation is not required. However, an animal transport record would be needed under this scenario. 
 
Q6 Where can I find examples of the transfer of care and animal transport documents?
An Animal Transport Record, which includes the required transfer of care documentation as outlined in the regulation, has been developed by BFO. Hard copy booklets, in triplicate form, can be accessed through the BFO office and are available to auction markets, producers and transporters, free of charge. 
 
Q7 Do I need to use BFO’s Animal Transport Record form when transporting animals in Ontario?
No, transporters can write the required information in any way that works for them. Both the animal transport record and the transfer of care record can be hand written, an email or recorded electronically as long as it is readable and contains the required information, and is retrievable should you ever be asked for it by an inspector. BFO’s Animal Transport Record is simply a tool available to those who wish to use it. 
 
Q8 When did the regulations come into effect?
The humane transport regulations have been in place since 1977, and were updated to improve the well-being of animals during the entire transport process, keeping in mind Canada’s geographic size and the time required to travel between locations. The amended regulations have been in place since February, 2020, but the CFIA focused its enforcement efforts on compliance through promotion, education, and awareness measures. As of February, 2022 CFIA has started to enforce the regulations. 
 
Q9 Will CFIA be performing inspections only at federally regulated plants or will they also be performing inspections at provincial abattoirs and auction facilities? 
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. The Humane Transport regulations are applicable at federal abattoirs, provincial abattoirs, assembly yards, auction marts, etc. Any movement of animals fall under the regulations, CFIA staff is able to do inspections of any of these places at any time.  
 
Q10 What are the requirements for a contingency plan?
A contingency plan is to establish measures to reduce or mitigate avoidable suffering if: there are any unforeseen delays or circumstances that could cause avoidable suffering, injury, or death; or if an animal becomes compromised or unfit during loading, confinement, transport or unloading. There is no prescribed format for a contingency plan (can be written or verbal). However, regulated parties must be able to demonstrate that they know what to do in a variety of predictable, possible, transport situations and any contact information must be up to date.
 
Q11 How can I complete a transfer when dropping off at a site after hours? Will sending an electronic message (i.e., text message or email) suffice to confirm the transfer of care?
It is the responsibility of regulated parties to make sure they are following the transfer of care process. The provision of the transfer of care notice and document may be done electronically as it does not require the receiver to be present. While it is best practice for the receiver to be present and acknowledged by the consignee, the regulation was written this way to offer flexibility in situations such as these. 
 
Q12 What if an abattoir, assembly yard or auction market refuse to accept the transfer of care?
It is the transporter’s responsibility to make the receiver aware when their role stops, and the receiver’s role starts for the responsibility for care of the animals. While transporters can’t make receivers accept the responsibility, they can make a record of the interaction to protect themselves in the case of a dispute. 
 
Q13 How long should I keep the livestock transport documentation?
It is recommended that all parties should keep a copy of all livestock transport documentation for two years.
 

RESOURCES FOR PRODUCERS

Concerns with CFIA Inspection and/or Enforcement Process

There may be some challenges for producers, transporters and facility personnel as CFIA inspectors adjust to the amended regulations. Anyone wishing to register a complaint or comment related to CFIA quality of service, administrative errors and regulatory decisions may do so directly through the CFIA website.

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