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Biosecurity Measures for Cattle Transportation

Transporters have a crucial role in preventing or reducing the spread of diseases during transportation. Diseases in livestock can lead to animal health, human health, and economic consequences. This fact sheet highlights key biosecurity measures to protect cattle from contracting or spreading diseases during transportation and minimize costs due to outbreak of diseases.

What is biosecurity?

Biosecurity is a set of measures used to reduce the chance of the introduction and spread of disease-causing organisms and pests. During transportation, cattle can be at risk of contracting infectious disease from exposure to infected cattle, other animals, carcasses and pests (such as rodents and insects) or contact with manure, bodily fluids and aerosols of infected cattle or contaminated trailers, equipment, and people. A chain of strict biosecurity measures is recommended to maintain the health and well-being of cattle at the place of loading, during transportation and at the destination site.

Why is biosecurity important?

On average, cattle are transported three to four times in their lifetime. These transportation events provide an opportunity to spread infectious diseases, which may cause significant financial losses to the producers, transporters, livestock industry, and government.

Who is responsible for biosecurity?

Producers, caretakers, transporters and everyone else involved in the transportation of cattle are responsible for ensuring animal health and welfare. It is recommended that biosecurity measures be implemented at all times during loading, on the road and during unloading. Always discuss biosecurity with the producers before transportation.

General Biosecurity Recommendations

Biosecurity Best Practices

Only load livestock onto clean trailers

Dirty trailers can spread disease. To reduce this risk:

Avoid contact with other animals

Animals can appear healthy yet still shed pathogens (e.g. bacteria, viruses, and fungi) that can put other animals at risk of infection. To reduce this risk:

People and equipment

People and equipment that have come into contact with diseased animals or their environment can pose a risk to your animals. To minimize this risk:

For more information, visit the biosecurity standard for livestock, poultry and deadstock transportation on the Canadian Food Inspection Agency website at and Canadian Animal Health Coalition website at

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