Language selection


Chapter 11 - Humane transportation of animals
11.1 Humane transportation of animals

This page is part of the Guidance Document Repository (GDR).

Looking for related documents?
Search for related documents in the Guidance Document Repository

As part of the CFIA's Animal Health Program, the transportation of animals is regulated to prevent pain or undue suffering in animals.


1. The objective of this section is to familiarize accredited veterinarians with humane transportation requirements under the Health of Animals Regulations Part XII and the role of private accredited veterinary practitioners in promoting humane transport.

2. In collaboration with CFIA district veterinarians, accredited veterinarians are in an ideal position to educate and influence clients to transport animals in a humane manner through the provision of professional advice, by referring clients to existing resource materials, and by applying information arising from scientific research. Accredited veterinarians can draw the client's attention to adverse impacts of bad practices on animal welfare, and to influence the client before practices become entrenched.

3. The National Farm Animal Care Council's code of practice for the care and handling of farm animals - Transportation" as well as the CFIA's Transportation of Animals Program- Compromised Animals Policy are appropriate resources for veterinarians and their clients. Dr. Temple Grandin's Website also contains information on livestock care and transport.

4. The Health of Animals Regulations prohibits the transportation of all animals under conditions that would expose them to undue injury or suffering. Examples of such conditions include: loading or transporting animals that are unfit for the intended journey; the use of inadequately constructed vehicles; failure to provide for animals' needs for feed, water, and rest; inadequate ventilation; overcrowding; and the use of improper loading and unloading facilities.

5. The Health of Animals Regulations apply broadly to those who load or transport or those who cause animals to be loaded or transported. This applies to the trucker, the exporter or producer as well as to the accredited veterinarian. All animals should be evaluated to ensure they are capable of withstanding the rigors of the intended journey taking into consideration their physical condition, age, length of the trip, weather conditions, intermittent stops such as auction markets or assembly yards for example. Veterinarians are obliged to comply with the Regulations in the advice that they provide to their clients. It is also important to note that in certifying an animal for export, the veterinarian is also certifying the animal for fitness to transport.

6. An accredited veterinarian must not certify for export animals that are not fit for the expected journey. Refer to conditions contained in Part XII of the Health of Animals Regulations available on the CFIA Website. Some examples of animals deemed unfit for an export journey can be found under the categories "Unfit" and "Compromised" in the CFIA's Compromised Animals Policy. An accredited veterinarian could face enforcement action by CFIA if it is determined that they knowingly certified animals for export that were not fit for the intended journey. An accredited veterinarian has a responsibility to notify a CFIA district veterinarian when made aware of any situation in which an individual is not complying with the regulations and animals are being subject to inhumane conditions or unnecessary pain or suffering during loading, unloading or transportation.

Transporter's obligations

7. The Health of Animals Regulations require that truckers keep their vehicles clean and sanitary at all times. The trucker must also clean and disinfect the vehicle whenever a CFIA inspector requests that it be done, if it has been used for the transportation of livestock. Any animal transported by any conveyance shall be subject to inspection at all times by a CFIA inspector if the inspector suspects the presence of a reportable disease or inhumane transportation.

Date modified: