Canada’s Food Inspection Agency yesterday (20 February) published amendments to its animal transportation regulations, which they said would increase consumer confidence, strengthen the country’s international trade status and facilitate market access.
The new regulations are set to come into effect from February 2020, which will allow the animal transport industry to make preparations before amendments are enforced.
“The changes to the humane transport regulations better align Canada’s requirements with international partners (for example the US, Australia and the European Union), as well as the OIE’s animal welfare standards for animals transported by land, air and sea,” said Canada’s chief veterinary officer Jaspinder Komal.
“As a veterinarian, I am happy to say that Canada has improved the well-being of animals during the entire transportation process.”
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency will provide guidance to the industry to help them comply with the new regulations. If non-compliance is found, it added that the Canadian Government would use a range of enforcement and compliance tools available to take action.
However, the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) expressed its concerns about the regulations and said they “undermined” cattle welfare rather than enhanced it.
“The CCA anticipates the revisions will likely increase stress to cattle and opportunity for injury. This is mostly due to the changes in regulations requiring more loading and unloading for rest stops,” said a CCA statement.
“The CCA questions why the revised regulations ignore the Government of Canada’s own research and why they were released prior to the completion of ongoing research that would inform a decision on how to change the regulations to ensure the best outcomes for animal care.”
Full details of the amendment changes to the Animal Transport Regulations can be found on the Canadian Government’s website.