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Health of Animals Regulations: Part XII: Transport of Animals-Regulatory Amendment
Interpretive Guidance for Regulated Parties

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Part I: Introduction

This guidance document is designed to assist stakeholders in interpretation and implementation of the amended Part XII of the Health of Animals Regulations (HAR).

The amendments to Part XII of the HAR (transport of animals) were pre-published in Canada Gazette, Part I (CGI) in December 2016 and published in Canada Gazette (CGII) on February 20th, 2019. The amended Part XII of the HAR came into force February 20, 2020.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) humane transport and animal welfare page has a link to the most current version of this document. In the case of a discrepancy between this document and the HAR Part XII, Part XII prevails.


The wording in this guidance document has been chosen for ease of reading; always refer to the current published regulations for precise wording.

Subscribers to CFIA's Email Notification Subscription (Animal Policy updates – Terrestrial) will be notified of changes as they occur.

This guidance may be revised from time to time based on advances in science, technology, review of data, feedback from regulated parties, the public, CFIA staff and trading partners.



1.0 General

Transportation is stressful for animals. Unfamiliar surroundings, noises, vibrations and movements, unfamiliar humans and animals, handling, loading and unloading, exposure to adverse conditions, lack of access to feed and water, and other stressors are part of the process.

Individual animals differ in their ability to withstand transport. The condition of animals can change over time. An animal that is fit to load at the beginning of the transport continuum can become compromised or unfit during the journey.

Situations also change during the transport continuum (weather, road conditions, conveyance equipment function, scheduling).

In response to all these changes, actions must be taken to prevent avoidable animal suffering.

Transported animals must be:

All transport situations are different. What is appropriate for a specific animal's welfare will depend on the context and situation. It is not possible to create a "black and white" rule that will apply to every scenario. See section 1.8 for suggested species-specific sources of guidance.

Part XII of the HAR has a mix of outcome-based and prescriptive requirements that must be met.

The intent of the HAR amendments is to build on the culture of continuous improvement in animal handling that underpins Canadian animal agriculture. Canada has a growing body of knowledge, industry driven recommended-practices, scientific data, animal care assessment and training programs as well as a strong commitment to animal welfare including during transportation.

Part XII of the HAR amendments closely reflect the existing body of knowledge and recommendations for enhancing animal welfare outcomes in Canada.

Under the amended regulations, all those involved in the transportation of animals are given an opportunity to demonstrate and document that they are knowledgeable, accountable and taking proactive steps to ensure animals wellbeing during transport.

The intent of Part XII of the HAR is to minimize the suffering of animals involved in the process of transportation whether due to ignorance, negligence, lack of planning, improper use of equipment or improper handling.

1.1 Regulatory authority

The following Acts, and their respective Regulations, work together to govern the humane transport of animals into, within and out of Canada:

1.2 Regulated parties subject to Part XII of the HAR

All persons involved in transport of animals share responsibility under the law, including those who:

Humane transport is a shared responsibility

Part XII of the HAR apply to all those involved directly or indirectly in the transport of live animals. This includes, but is not limited to:

Persons involved in the transport of animals need to:

1.3 Regulated activities (transport methods that are regulated)

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.

1.4 The transport process covered under the regulatory authority of Part XII of the HAR

Part XII of the HAR applies to all aspects of the animal transport continuum and related confinement including:

A regulated party must comply with all legal requirements. Sometimes more than one Act and its regulations may apply to a situation.

While this document provides guidance specific to transport (Part XII of the HAR), it is also important to recognize that HAR requirements crossover with SFCR requirements in federal slaughter establishments. There is an overlap of the 2 regulations for the transfer of responsibility from trucker to consignee, monitoring the animals in lairage, and meeting FWR requirements.

In a federal slaughter plant, a license holder must comply with both the HAR and the SFCR.

When one regulation sets requirements that are stricter than the other, the license holder must comply with the one that is more strict.

Examples of where the two regulations crossover may include:

Unloading delays may happen for different reasons (processing equipment breakdown, lack of pen space to unload into, etc.) however, federal licensed establishments are required to have appropriate scheduling, animal handling procedures and policies (and feed and water if necessary) to meet the requirements of both HAR and SFCR.

1.5 Inspections: what to expect

While CFIA has the authority to conduct an animal transport inspection at any location where animals are or may be transported, CFIA's approach to inspections is risk-based.

CFIA Inspectors also do routine inspections to verify compliance with the requirements of legislation at:

The CFIA inspectors abide by the CFIA values and ethics principles found in The Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Its Regulated Parties, Stakeholders and Partners: An Ethical Relationship and in the Statement of Rights and Service for Producers, Consumers and Other Stakeholders.

When CFIA inspectors are on your property, at your place of business or have stopped your vehicle, they will:

While on-site, the inspector will collect information to verify compliance with the legal requirements and will make notes to record details of the inspection. The inspector may, for example:

You are legally required to provide information to, and assist, an inspector.

Please ensure the inspector is aware of any safety concerns or procedures and any biosecurity controls while on your property so that they are safe and can adhere to the biosecurity procedures you have in place.

The durations of transport inspection are variable. The inspection can be brief when the animals are visible, records are in order and the load can be readily determined to be in full compliance. In other cases, a more detailed inspection may be required.

1.6 This guidance document assists the regulated party to understand the regulations

This document provides interpretation and some examples to help stakeholders make decisions regarding animal transport. The intent is to:

Those involved in the transport of animals are expected to:

Part XII of the HAR has a combination of prescriptive and outcome based requirements.

With outcome based regulatory requirements, you have the opportunity to demonstrate that you took appropriate action to prevent and mitigate negative outcomes. The actions that you do, or do not take, to contribute to, or limit negative welfare outcomes will be considered in outcome based regulations.

You must meet all of the requirements (both prescriptive and outcome based) of the regulation that apply in a given situation. For example:

If a type of animal is not covered by specific prescriptive requirement (for example there is no prescriptive ramp angle for llamas), compliance is achieved when the outcome based requirement has been met (llama suffering, injury and death is prevented).

1.7 Subjects not covered in this document

This interpretive guidance document does not provide:

For example: mammary engorgement in a dairy cow looks different than the same condition in a dog. The regulated party is expected to know the characteristics and appearance of the condition for the species they are transporting.

1.8 Recommended additional references

Regulated parties are also encouraged to refer to industry guidelines and/or veterinary opinions to assure the best animal welfare practices during all phases of animal transport.

These sources provide relevant and valuable information:

Part II: Guidance on individual regulatory provisions and related information

Sections of Part XII of the HAR are addressed one at a time in this part to help clarify:

Several regulatory provisions can apply in a given situation; their combined meaning needs to be considered.

Individual sections of legislation are interpreted in context, with the intent of the regulation in mind rather than as standalone requirements.


The intent of the HAR is to prevent unnecessary (avoidable) suffering of animals in transport due to ignorance, negligence, lack of planning, improper use of equipment or improper handling.

2.0 Interpretation – HAR section 136(1)-(3)

2.1 Required outcomes

Regulated parties have a clear understanding of the terms and language used in the regulation to assist with interpretation of, and compliance with, Part XII of the HAR.

This section provides clarification of some general terms used in the regulation.

2.2 Terms defined in the context of Part XII of the HAR

This section of the regulation clarifies the meaning of specific terms as they are used for the purpose of Part XII of the HAR. They include:

For ease of use, the legal definitions from this section are included in Appendix 1 with the definition of other commonly used terms. Words specifically listed and defined in the HAR section 136 are indicated in the appendix by an asterix (*).

3.0 Application – HAR section 137

3.1 Required outcomes

All persons involved in all parts of the transport process for animals entering or leaving, or within Canada are required to be aware of, and transport animals in compliance with, the requirements of this legislation.


The regulations apply to all animals.

3.2 Guidance to regulated parties

The regulations apply:


Animal exporters can be required to demonstrate compliance with Canadian feed, water and rest provisions throughout the intended journey.

Animal importers must be able to demonstrate compliance with Part XII of the HAR, including maximum allowable FWR intervals and the required outcomes (so that animals do not experience nutritional deficit, dehydration or exhaustion).

Importers can be asked to provide:

4.0 Knowledge and skills – HAR section 138

4.1 Required outcomes – knowledge and skills

People involved in animal transport (that is planning, loading, confinement, transport and unloading) must:

To prevent injury, suffering or death caused during all phases of the transport process.

4.2 Guidance to regulated parties – knowledge and skills

The regulations require that the regulated party must know what to do and have the necessary skills to meet the outcomes required by the regulation.

This section is an outcome based requirement. The regulated party is empowered to determine what knowledge is needed to achieve the outcome, which is to ensure the well-being of animals in your care as well as to ensure your own personal safety.

The information can come from mentorship, formal training or both.

The needs of animals vary with the species, size, sex, age, health and production status, physiology, and the degree to which they have been socialized. The knowledge and actions you take must be appropriate for the species and type of animal you work with.

Some of the things that good stock people and humane animal transporters are aware of include:

It is your responsibility to be able to demonstrate that you have the required knowledge and skills. This could be done by:

4.3 Required outcomes – training (commercial carriers) HAR 138.1(1)-(2)

Every commercial carrier provides training to all employees involved directly or indirectly in the loading, confinement, transportation or unloading of animals.

Every commercial carrier assures that all employees involved in animal transport know what their specific role is in ensuring that animals are transported in a manner that prevents them from injury, suffering or death during transport.

The regulation includes a list of the topics that must be covered in this training:

See section 1.8 for suggested species specific guidance. Refer to section 6 of this document for more information about assessing risk factors.

4.4 Guidance to regulated parties – training

You are a commercial carrier if your business is transporting animals.

See Appendix 1 for further clarification on the definition of commercial carrier.

For example: a dispatcher would need to understand maximum FWR times for the species and type of animal so they could schedule a journey, but they may not need to know the maximum unloading-ramp angles for a species (however the person(s) involved in loading and unloading animals would need to know that maximum angle).

The training requirement is outcome based. The regulation:

Commercial carriers are responsible for demonstrating how they achieve the required outcomes. Documentation you may want to use to demonstrate compliance with this section could include:

5.0 Contingency plans – HAR section 138.2

5.1 Required outcomes

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:

Any person who is required to have a contingency plan will inform all employees and agents or mandataries who load, confine, transport or unload animals or who take part in decision making, or advising the person operating the conveyance, in respect of the loading, confining, transporting or unloading of animals of the contingency plan.

5.2 Guidance to regulated parties

Humane animal transportation is complex and dynamic. Things can go wrong. Responding appropriately to an evolving situation requires, knowledge, skill, and planning ahead.

A contingency plan is a set of actions-to-take to address unusual or unexpected transport events.

When you are in compliance with HAR s. 138.2, you will be able to describe how you prepared to prevent unnecessary animal suffering, injury or death in the case of unforeseen but reasonably predictable events. Failure to have a contingency plan is a violation of Part XII of the HAR s. 138.2.

Compliance will be evaluated on whether the contingency plan was available and implemented, not on its format.

The key to making a contingency plan is to anticipate events that could happen and decide proactively what actions would need to be taken to address the situation.

To ensure contingency plan(s) are successful, it is important that:

Contingency Plan Content:

Examples of unanticipated events that can occur when transporting animals to consider when developing your contingency plan include:

If asked to demonstrate your compliance with the contingency planning requirements, you could do so by using (some, or all of the following):

6.0 Assessment of risk factors related to transport and monitoring requirements – HAR section 138.3

6.1  Required outcomes

All those involved in the transport of animals must assess:

Every person involved in the transport of animals must monitor:

Section 138.3 specifically lists risk factors that could reasonably be viewed as impacting the animal's capacity to withstand the process of transport, such as but not limited to:

6.2 Guidance to regulated parties

The humane transport of animals is complex and requires knowledge, planning, and sound decision making. Assessment and monitoring are important because animals vary in their capacity to withstand transportation. Appendix 3 provides a starting point of things to look for while assessing and monitoring.

The intent of this section is to ensure that animals are:

See section 1.8 for additional species specific resources and section 4.0 for additional information regarding knowledge and skills.


An animal with a mild lameness at the start of transport can be expected to get worse over time due to the sorting process, loading, bumping and jostling, shifting weight, and balancing while in motion. That animal:

Because of these increased risk factors mentioned above, this animal will need to be monitored more frequently than a fit, sound animal. By definition, the above animal is considered compromised and will need to be handled/transported as such.

Information about transport-related risk factors that must be evaluated include:

You must assess animals and evaluate the welfare-risks prior to, and monitor animals in, transport (see Appendix 3). Records and information that can be used to validate that you are in compliance with risk assessment requirements include:

7.0 Transport of unfit animals – HAR sections 139, 139.1 and 139.2

7.1 Required outcomes

The decision about whether an animal is fit for transport will vary from case to case.

Animals defined as unfit are likely to suffer during transport. They cannot be loaded or transported (unless they are going for veterinary care). Animals will be considered unfit if they are showing the following conditions:

Each of these conditions is further discussed, with examples in Appendix 1.


Unfit animals may not be loaded except for the 2 exceptions below:

  • on the advice of a veterinarian for care or treatment, and then only if adequate measures are taken to prevent additional unnecessary suffering as per 139(2); or
  • during seizure of animals following enforcement action and then only if adequate measures are taken to prevent additional unnecessary suffering as per 139(2).


A producer/owner may want a valuable dairy cow that has a painful lameness to have diagnostic testing performed to determine the cause of the acute lameness. In such a case, a veterinarian will need to be consulted. It is important that the unfit animal is loaded only if it can be loaded and transported according to the veterinarian's instruction and with proper provisions (see section 139 (2)). The animal must be:


Inspectors can make an order to take measures to protect animal welfare in the event of noncompliance with the prohibition on transporting unfit animals. The regulation requires that parties who receive such an order must comply.

Animals' whose condition changes during transport

If an animal was loaded fit and it becomes "unfit" during transport, reasonable measures must be taken, as soon as possible, to prevent the animal's unnecessary suffering, injury or death (s.139(4)) which says:

Unloading unfit animals

An animal that becomes unfit during transport and is non-ambulatory can only be unloaded if it is unconscious:

An animal that becomes unfit during transport and is ambulatory can be unloaded with special care if:

Unfit animals in containers can be manually removed from the container before being rendered unconscious or humanely killed (in a manner that is not likely to cause the animal to unnecessarily suffer, sustain an injury, or die) as per s. 139.1(2).


Assess each situation, consider human and animal safety. What type of unloading minimizes further animal suffering?

If the animal cannot get up and walk on its own, it must be humanely rendered unconscious, or killed where it is (no dragging, pushing, rolling, prodding).

An unfit non-ambulatory animal that is being transported for veterinary care may be unloaded while conscious only under veterinary instruction.

A small non-ambulatory animal (for example, a bird or a rabbit) can be manually lifted out of the container while conscious if doing so does not cause unnecessary suffering, injury or death.

If an unfit animal is found on your load, you could be asked for evidence that the animal was fit prior to loading. Keeping complete animal transport records (see Appendix 4) can help you to demonstrate that the actions you took were appropriate.

7.2 Guidance to regulated parties

An animal that is determined to be unfit prior to loading (Section 139(1))

All parties who are directly (handlers, producers, transporters) or indirectly (processors) involved in the transport process are to take measures to ensure that animals are assessed for fitness prior to transit. Applies to:

Each situation is different. Knowledge and judgment is needed to evaluate if an animal is considered unfit.

Situations also change, and fit animals can become unfit at any time throughout the transport continuum. It is possible that animals appear to be fit for transport prior to loading and then become injured or otherwise suffer.

The appropriate decision for an animal will depend on the context and situation:


If you assess an animal and find that it is showing 2 conditions, where one is on the list of "unfit" conditions list, and the other is on the list defined as "compromised", the more severe condition takes precedence and the animal is to be classified as unfit.

All those who cause the continued transport of an animal that becomes unfit during confinement and or transport, must take steps to prevent unnecessary suffering of that animal such that:

Planning in advance is important in these situations (refer to: Contingency Plan in this guidance document).

8.0 Transport of compromised animals – HAR section 140

8.1 Required outcomes

The decision about whether an animal is fit for transport will vary from case to case.

Animals that are determined to be compromised prior to loading can only be transported directly to the nearest suitable place where they can receive care or be humanely killed, except an assembly center. Animals will be considered compromised if they are showing the following conditions:

Evaluating compromised animals and whether their condition will put them at risk of unnecessary or additional suffering if transported, requires experience, judgement, and knowledge of the context of the specific situation.

The outcome, and the potential for suffering (or additional suffering), that could be caused by transport of the animal must be considered.

Regulated parties are encouraged to document their decisions and the actions they take to prevent compromised animals from unnecessary or additional suffering due to transport, which may include:

Each condition defined as "compromised" by Part XII is further discussed, with examples, in Appendix 1.

Animals identified as compromised prior to loading, are all:

In the rare event that an animal becomes compromised during transport:

If in doubt whether an animal can withstand the same transport challenges as a healthy, fit animal, assume the animal is compromised (and transport with special provisions).


The maximum time a compromised animal can be without feed, safe water and rest is 12 hours. See HAR section 152.2(1).

8.2 Guidance to regulated parties

An animal that is compromised prior to loading (Section 140(1))

All parties involved directly or indirectly in and responsible for the transportation of animals, must ensure that each animal is assessed prior to loading to determine whether each animal is fit for transport. This will avert animal suffering, possible findings of non-compliance, economic losses and unplanned delays. Compromised animals as described in section 136(1) must be transported directly – with the required provisions to prevent unnecessary suffering, injury or death – to the nearest suitable place (for example, this can be a veterinary hospital or a slaughter facility) that has the required facilities, equipment, materials and knowledge and experienced personnel to care for or humanely kill the animal.

The maximum allowable time without access to feed, water and rest is 12 hours for a compromised animal (see section 152.2). The timing of this interval begins when feed, water and rest are no longer available to the animal and ends only when feed, water and rest are once again provided sufficient to meet the animal's needs and the regulatory requirements.

Note that 12 hours without access to feed, water and rest is to be considered as a maximum interval. If a regulated party is found to have driven past the nearest suitable place without attending to the compromised animal, even if the animal has not been deprived of feed, water and rest for longer than 12 hours, an inspector may ask that an acceptable rationale be provided and the regulated party may be subject to enforcement action.

Transport can be stressful to animals. Those that are compromised prior to loading may deteriorate, and may even become unfit as per the definition of unfit in 136(1), and are therefore subject to the more stringent requirements. For example, an animal that is mildly lame prior to loading can become extremely lame or even non-ambulatory if required to negotiate ramps during loading or work to maintain its space and balance on the conveyance. An animal's condition can also deteriorate after being exposed to the unfamiliar stresses of transport such as a feed, water and rest restrictions, confined space, large numbers of unfamiliar animals, noises and movements and having to protect itself from injury. Therefore, a requirement to load these animals individually and a prohibition against requiring them to move up and down ramps within the conveyance were added as basic provisions.

An animal that is compromised prior to loading must not be transported to an assembly centre. The reason for this prohibition is to protect animals from unnecessary suffering by repeated loading, unloading and by exposing them to the stress of being in a new environment and excessive handling. In addition, this prohibition protects assembly centres from potentially becoming a repository of sick, injured or otherwise compromised animals.

Any animal that is deemed compromised prior to loading as per 136(1) may be transported, however it is required that certain measures be taken to mitigate suffering. These provisions include but are not limited to the following list. The animal is:

An animal that is likely to become compromised or where deterioration is not unexpected during confinement and transport

While an animal may appear fit for transport prior to loading, there may have been some indications on farm that the animal may be at risk of deterioration during transport. For example, animals that have shown a pattern of shifting lameness or lack of appetite from time to time due to an intermittent illness, may be at risk of becoming compromised when exposed to the various transport related stressors. The transporter should be made aware of such findings in order to adequately prepare for and/or monitor the animal during the transport. It is not acceptable to withhold this important information from the transporter.

It is easier to plan and prepare for the handling of a compromised animal before loading than to have to adjust the transport plans if an animal becomes compromised while in transit.

An animal that becomes compromised during transport (Section 140(5) and (6))

Despite careful selection, the best preparations and provisions, some animals can become compromised during confinement and transport. In the case of an animal that appears to be fit prior to loading but becomes compromised during the journey; the transporter may be required to make adjustments to accommodate the compromised animal. For example, a planned journey to a slaughter plant may require a schedule adjustment to allow for the transporter to isolate the animal from others in the load to protect it, to add bedding, etc. The regulated party is required to have accurate, up-to-date, readily available contact information in case of an unforeseen event that may impact animal welfare. This should include information such as all suitable places along the route in their contingency plan (see section 138.2) to facilitate and expedite a positive outcome to any such events.

It is important to be aware of the condition of the animals at loading, throughout the confinement, and during transport time (frequent assessments of the animal in the load are required, refer to Appendix 3); and loads should be monitored as often as deemed necessary considering the various risk factors (see section 138.3 regarding risk factors and monitoring) to ensure animals have not deteriorated, been injured, or found suffering and that no animals have died.

Loads with compromised animals will require more frequent monitoring than loads with only fit animals or are likely to remain fit throughout. Regulated parties found to be transporting animals that are compromised without having monitored them adequately or provided reasonable measures to prevent unnecessary suffering, injury or death may be subject to enforcement action.

If a situation arises where it is unsafe for the transporter to enter the conveyance to care for a newly discovered compromised animal, then reasonable measures to mitigate suffering must be taken in a manner that does not risk the operator's safety. These can include environmental adjustments and other provisions that can improve the conditions within the conveyance without endangering the driver or the remaining animals in the load. The animal should then be taken directly to the nearest suitable place where it can receive care or be humanely killed as per the contingency plan. The regulated party may be asked to provide a rationale for considering it unsafe to provide the necessary provisions and for evidence that the animal was not compromised prior to loading.

Additional information regarding compromised and unfit animals

Compromised poultry and rabbits in crates

All outcomes listed above apply to compromised crated poultry and rabbits with the following modifications:

Nearest place

In the context of the regulations, "the nearest place" is the closest suitable facility where an animal can be transported in order to receive adequate care or be humanely killed. Depending on each specific situation, this place could be a veterinary establishment, a farm, an abattoir, an assembly centre (only for animals that becomes compromised or unfit during transport) or any other appropriate location, provided the animal is able to receive the care or treatment needed, or to be humanely killed. The nearest suitable place may not always be the closest on the map.

In some cases, it may not be possible for the establishment that is the closest geographically to receive the compromised animal (for example: an abattoir not processing that day or this species, an establishment not able to process animals with specific conditions, an animal coming from a farm which is not under contract with the closest establishment, a small animal veterinary clinic not treating farm animals, because of biosecurity considerations or any other justifiable reason considered as acceptable by the CFIA). When making the decision as to where the nearest suitable place is to transport a compromised animal, its welfare must be taken into account as well as the welfare of all the other animals on the load. Thus, in certain situations where an animal would have become compromised or unfit en route, the best outcome may be achieved by humanely killing it on board instead of transporting it further. The contingency plan should include the different possible procedures to follow and a list of the nearest suitable places along the road.

When an animal is assessed as being compromised following the pre-transport assessment, it can be acceptable to transport it to the nearest suitable place which is further than the geographically closest place where it can receive care or be humanely slaughter provided that:

It is recommended that:

The final outcome (in other words, the condition of the animal upon arrival at its destination) will be considered by the CFIA; if this outcome is not satisfactory, then enforcement actions may be taken.

Assembly centres and compromised/unfit animals

Animals that become compromised/unfit in transit can be transported to assembly centres while those that are compromised prior to loading cannot be (animals that are determined to be unfit prior to loading cannot be loaded). Explanation/rationale: An animal that is compromised prior to loading must not be transported to an assembly centre. The reason for this prohibition is to protect animals from suffering, injury or death by repeated loading, unloading and by exposing them to the stress of being in a new environment and excessive handling. In addition, this prohibition protects assembly centres from potentially becoming a repository of sick and injured animals.

An animal that becomes compromised or unfit during transport must be transported directly to the nearest suitable place that is suitable to minimize suffering and reasonable measures must be taken to prevent the animal's unnecessary suffering, injury or death. In some circumstances, this can include an assembly centre but only for the purpose of care or humane killing. No other activities such as transport for marketing or assembly are acceptable.


If in doubt whether an animal is compromised, or unfit, it is advisable to handle the animal as unfit and to seek veterinary advice.

9.0 Transport of livestock, camelids or cervids of 8 days of age or less, and transport of young ruminants of more than 8 days – HAR sections 141 and 143

9.1 Required outcomes

Section 141 – Livestock, camelids or cervids of 8 days of age or less

Very young livestock, camelids and cervids (8 days old or less) are transported so that the impact of risk factors that affect them is minimized. There are 6 requirements:

Section 143 – Young ruminants (for example: 9 days of age up to 8-12 weeks)

Ruminants from birth until the time where they are physically old enough to be fed exclusively on hay and grain, are not transported unless:

9.2 Guidance to regulated parties

Guidance for section 141

"Livestock" is defined in HAR s. 2 to mean animals of the bovine, goat, horse, sheep and porcine species.

Section 141 will most commonly apply to the transport of male dairy calves, in the first week of life where they are transported to specialized feeding facilities for meat production (veal).

A 12 hour journey is a maximum time, however transport times may have to be shorter to meet the required outcomes. If the animals are likely to suffer from dehydration, nutritional deficit or exhaustion within the 12 hour period, transporters must address their needs as soon as possible.

Why? These young animals (8 days of age or less) have a reduced capacity to withstand the transport process (they are a type of "compromised animal"). Some of these risk factors include the fact that:

The regulation is intended to prevent very young calves from being loaded, transported and unloaded multiple times, transported a long time, and to limit unnecessary contact with other animals/pathogens (for example, in auction markets). These risks can lead to the deterioration of the animal's condition over time.

Very young animals can be collected on a single conveyance from multiple sources. Short stops can be made to load additional animals (of 8 days or less) without the unloading of previously loaded animals. Animals already on board must remain on the conveyance (that is, no loading and unloading at various times prior to reaching their final destination).

Transport of these young animals can only occur once while the animal is 8 days old or less.

Determining if an animal is 8 days of age or less

Producers are required to be able to identify young animals and have records of the animal's birth.

Inspectors will validate compliance based on:

Guidance for section 143

This section focuses on ruminants of 9 days of age or older that are too young to be fed exclusively on hay or grain.

The maximum length of time these animals can spend in a conveyance (loading to unloading) is 12 hours. They can transit via an assembly centre (including an auction market) or FWR station.

The maximum time without FWR is 12 hours:

The intent is not to prevent the calves from a second transport event in this age range, rather it is to prevent gradual deterioration of calves due to repeated transport events and to ensure that young calves have the rest, hydration and nutrition they need so they are robust and ready for a second journey (maximum 12 hours), if one is required.

For the purposes of this section:


For ruminants old enough to be fed exclusively on hay and grain consider that:

  • this may occur at a range of ages depending on the breeding, the feeding and the management of the animals
  • this age can range from as little as 6 weeks old to more than 12 weeks of age
  • producers and transporters must consider these factors, and the animals' conditioning, to determine if they are able to digest, and use hay and grain as the only source of nutrition

10.0 Transport of lactating animals – HAR section 142

10.1 Required outcomes

Lactating mammals are transported in a manner that reduces the risk of avoidable suffering caused by mammary engorgement. Lactating animals are loaded, confined or transported either:

10.2 Guidance to regulated parties

Transporters must be aware of the signs of mammary engorgement in the animals they are caring for.


Signs of mammary engorgement vary among and within species.


  • animals affected can appear uncomfortable and reluctant to lie down
  • mammary glands will be firm to hard and painful
  • mammary tissue may be warm or hot to the touch
  • mammary tissue may appear deep pink or red

Take action to relieve engorgement by:

For example: a high value cow in heavy lactation and being milked regularly is moved or sold to another farm for production purposes. This is not an issue.

For example: cull dairy cows (in other words, going for slaughter) that are still lactating and are transported, sometimes over several days, without being milked, which can result in engorged and painful mammary glands. This is an issue and is avoidable suffering.

This is an outcome based requirement (that is to say to prevent mammary engorgement). Each case will be evaluated in context and on its own merits.


Animals in peak lactation are defined as compromised (visit s.140(1)) in the regulation. This is due to the increased risk of mammary engorgement due to high production. This period of peak lactation can be difficult to recognize in an animal milked at intervals sufficient to prevent mammary engorgement, so consider the intent which is to restrict animals that are producing large amounts of milk from moving through auction marts, often with repeated transport events, and therefore their risk of suffering is reduced. The intent is to prevent mammary engorgement and the resulting discomfort and risk of complications. Animals in peak lactation that are being milked regularly to prevent engorgement will not be considered compromised. It can be further described as the animal is considered compromised, and should be transported as such, if it is in lactation and it will not be milked (or not known if it will be milked) to prevent mammary engorgement during the transport continuum. Once it becomes engorged, the animal will be considered as compromised or unfit for transport depending on the level of discomfort/suffering.

11.0 Animal handling from loading to unloading – HAR sections 144 and 145

11.1 Required outcomes

This section covers:

Animals are handled during loading, confinement, transport and unloading in a manner that does not cause suffering, injury or death. People who transport animals must not:

And when an animal is in a container, people involved in the transport process must not:

Every animal is handled during loading, confinement, transport and unloading in a manner that does not cause or is not likely to cause suffering, injury or death.

Animals will be loaded and unloaded using equipment that is designed, built, constructed and maintained to prevent likely suffering, injury or death.

External ramps and gangways must be:

11.2 Guidance to regulated parties

Understanding animal behaviour is an important skill for humane transportation. Animal handling should be quiet, patient, efficient, safe, low stress and with little or no use of whips, goads, prods or similar devices:

Mishandling animals in frustration (for example, beating, lifting, dragging, etc.) causes unnecessary suffering and is prohibited by Part XII of the HAR.

It is unacceptable to knowingly harm an animal during any phase of the transport continuum.

Predicting potential problems and preventing them is key. An animal does not have to suffer an injury before enforcement action can be taken as handling animals in any way that is likely to cause suffering injury or death is also a noncompliance.

Handling of Containers and Conveyance

The regulated party must handle each container, including a cargo container, and the conveyance in a manner that:

Guiding devices and prods

Prod use (including prod-like tools) for moving animals

All driving tools, including the electric prod, are to be used by employees who understand the principles of animal behaviour and how to use these goads correctly to prevent injury and suffering.

The prod use requirements of the regulations are prescriptive and clear (s. 144).

Prods are only used on bovine and porcine species, and are allowed only on specific sections of the hindquarters of large bovines or porcines of at least 3 months of age (that is to say, prod use is not allowed in sheep, goats, dogs, horses, camelids, calves and weanling pigs).

A prod is considered as "used" (for inspection purposes) every time a handler touches the animal (whether or not they have pressed the power button).

Prod-like equipment, for the purposes of this regulation, includes innovative technology that has an on/off switch, a power source, and causes an aversive reaction in animals.

These tools may be used only:

Repeated prodding of the same animal is not acceptable under any circumstances.

Vibrating or air prods

These devices are a recent innovation in driving tools to move cattle or pigs without applying electrical current and:

Acceptable use of a vibrating prod (same as electric prod)

Unacceptable use of a vibrating prod

Guiding devices, boards, pool noodles and noise makers

Guiding devices are used to guide animals along a route and to deter them from excessive deviation from the intended path. These devices are:

Even seemingly benign guiding devices are likely to cause animal suffering if used inappropriately. Such as if:

Tail twisting in cattle

Ramps/ unloading apparatus, gangways (s. 145)

All conveyances, containers, ramps, stairs, gangways, chutes, boxes or other apparatus used for loading, and unloading animals must be designed, constructed, used and maintained to ensure that these are unlikely to cause or lead to any injury, suffering or death to the animal during loading and unloading. Ramps and steps must be of sufficient strength and height to prevent animals from tripping, slipping, falling or sustaining an injury.

Transporters are required to use a ramp or similar apparatus if one is needed to reduce the risk of injury, suffering or death during loading or unloading.


To determine if a ramp (or other apparatus) is needed for safe loading or unloading, evaluate the risk for an animal to suffer, sustain an injury or die by stepping directly from or onto the ground or other surface.

This section (s. 145) of the regulation applies to ramps and gangways outside of transport vehicles (not the ones within a trailer or conveyance). Regulated parties are encouraged to ensure all ramps used by the species follow recommendations and to work towards meeting the prescriptive slope maximums for all ramps (interior and exterior).

There are both prescriptive (ramp angles) and outcome based requirements for ramps. The outcome must be that loading and unloading of animals in conveyances is done in a manner that:

For species not mentioned on the maximum prescriptive ramp angle list, compliance with the required outcome will be evaluated.

For example: the regulation does not define a maximum loading ramp angle for llamas but it does require the outcome which is the prevention of a llama from suffering, injury or death. Llamas must be unloaded on appropriate equipment, calmly, to prevent slipping and falling.


There are other sections of the amended Part XII of the HAR which also apply to the handling of animals on ramps For example: section 150(1) prohibits the loading, confinement or transport of an animal unless the conveyance is designed, constructed, equipped, maintained and used to prevent the animal's suffering, injury or death. So, if an animal is injured by the use of an inappropriate ramp inside a vehicle, enforcement action can still be taken.

The ramp provisions within this regulation speaks to design and construction requirements leading to:

One size does not necessarily fit all:

The NFACC Codes of Practice for the Care and Handling of Farm Animals provide species specific guidelines for ramps, steps and equipment.

12.0 Weather protection and ventilation – HAR section 146

12.1 Required outcomes

Animals are protected from risk of suffering, sustaining an injury and/or death due to inadequate ventilation or exposure to meteorological or environmental conditions during transport.

This section covers:

12.2 Guidance to regulated parties

Environmental conditions impact the humane transport of animals. The intent of the regulation is that an animal is transported so that it does not experience, nor can it reasonably be expected to experience suffering, injury or death from exposure to adverse weather or environmental conditions, including inadequate ventilation.

This is an outcome based section of the regulations. Regulated parties must ensure that each animal in the load has adequate weather protection and ventilation to maintain its body temperature within an acceptable range at all times during the phases of transport. Each case must be evaluated in context and on its own merits:


The required outcome is achieved when regulated parties have taken action to ensure:

Weather Conditions

Animals need to be protected from dangerous extremes of either heat and humidity, or cold temperatures, wet conditions and/or wind-chill. An animal exposed to the effects of the weather can suffer for many reasons including but not limited to: panic, heat exhaustion, asphyxiation, dehydration, hypoglycemia, frostbite, and hypothermia.

Transportation-related mortality in animals increases significantly during:

High temperatures combined with high humidity and poor ventilation can cause severe heat stress in transported animals. Animals transported in crates, and swine, are especially vulnerable.

When to reschedule a transport due to unacceptable weather

In extreme weather, the regulated party may need to reschedule the transport. Regulated parties are urged to consider the external temperatures and the conditions as well as the available protections and load characteristics. Wind-chill, condensation, loading and air flow patterns, venting, environmental controls, monitors, trip duration, as well as species, class and health of animals should all contribute to the decision to begin or postpone the intended journey

Air flow

Air flows from the rear of the trailer towards the front of the trailer exiting through the side of trailers as it moves forward. There are areas on a trailer that are more hot than others, for example in some conveyances, the area with the least air circulation is the front just behind the tractor/truck above the front trailer axle wheels. This is sometimes referred to as the kill zone.

The area with the greatest exposure to wind chill, rain, freezing rain, etc., in cold weather on a moving trailer includes the rear and the sides of the trailer. Due to the wind chill effect on a moving truck, animals may suffer from cold and frostbite even during temperatures above freezing. As a result, during the winter, animals close to the sides on minimally equipped trailers can freeze, while animals in the middle portion can die from heat exposure. This more frequently occurs in transport of animals that are unable to move away from the sides of the conveyances due to loading positions.

The regulated party is responsible for knowing and understanding the inherent risks during all weather conditions as well as species specific thermo-neutral zones (temperatures within which they are able to regulate their body temperatures), animal behaviour, and signs of suffering of the transported animals to act appropriately when deviations from normal are identified.

Stationary conveyances/trailers

Conventional conveyances rely on movement to move air over the animals in the load. When a conveyance is not moving, there is lack of air flow through the conveyance (unless the conveyance is equipped with mechanical ventilation which will be discussed in section 19.0 of this document).

The regulated party must consider this when the vehicle stops or slows down especially during hot days due to traffic or other reasons. Parking animal transport vehicles, particularly in hot weather, can result in excessive heat and CO2 buildup inside the vehicle which may cause animals to suffer and die of hyperthermia (extreme heat) or suffocation.

Decreased ventilation can also lead to condensation within the conveyance if the temperature gradient inside and outside of the conveyance is significant and can lead to wet animals. When transport is resumed or when the animals are otherwise exposed to the cold, these wet animals can become hypothermic (extremely low body temperature) leading to suffering and even death.

Conveyances must have:

Monitoring of animals and temperatures at multiple areas, particularly the highest risk areas is strongly recommended. This is especially important during weather extremes and prolonged transports.

Strategies that regulated parties might use to prevent suffering due to excessive heat and humidity include:

Compliance with HAR s.146 is assessed by observing animals in a conveyance and evaluating if there are indicators of problems likely to be encountered due to ventilation issues including but not limited to:

13.0 Exposure to toxic or noxious things – HAR section 146.1

13.1 Required outcomes

Animals are protected from suffering, sustaining an injury or death by being exposed to anything that is toxic or noxious, including exhaust from the conveyance.

This section covers:

13.2 Guidance to regulated parties

Animals in transport must be protected from:

Regulated parties must take action to ensure ventilation during the transport process is sufficient to prevent avoidable animal suffering and death.

Compliance with this section will be assessed by observing animals in a conveyance and evaluating if there are problems likely to be encountered due to exposure to noxious things. Indications of exposure may include:

14.0 Space requirements – HAR section 147

14.1 Required outcomes

Animals are not subjected to avoidable suffering or death due to overcrowding.

There are 3 categories of animals specified in this section. They have different requirements for space, and head room in transport:
Category Space Requirements specified by 147(1)





(includes horses)

able to stand at all times with all feet on the floor, with head elevated,

with sufficient space to permit a full range of head movement

and without any part of its body coming into contact with a deck, roof or top of the conveyance or cover of the container

b poultry in a container
(not ratites)

able to maintain a squatting or sitting position

with sufficient space to permit a full range of head movement without coming into contact with the cover of the container

c All other animals (and poultry not confined in a container) able to maintain its preferred position with sufficient space to permit a full range of head movement.

Additionally, horses must be loaded on single deck vehicles (s. 147(2)).

14.2 Guidance to regulated parties

Adequate headroom is important to prevent physical and behavioural stress, and is also necessary to ensure adequate ventilation (reference: World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH), Terrestrial Animal Health Code section 7.3.5 (6)(e)). Lack of headroom can lead to fear, panic, abrasions and other injuries, loss of balance and exhaustion.

"Headroom" is an outcome based requirement in the regulations.

The appropriate headroom depends on the anatomy and the behaviour of the specific animals in question. The required outcome is achieved if:

The requirements will vary with species, for example:

Equines are not to be transported in conveyances with multiple decks – these conveyances have been found to provide insufficient headroom for this species in general.

15.0 Overcrowding – HAR section 148

15.1 Required outcomes

No animal is transported in a way that it is overcrowded.

The regulation states that "overcrowding" occurs when, due to the number of animals:

Animals transported by air must be in a container that meets the stocking density guidelines set out in the IATA Live Animals Regulations, 44th edition, published by, and available for purchase from, the International Air Transport Association, as amended from time to time.

15.2 Guidance to regulated parties

This section covers animals transported in conveyances and containers (except those used in air transport).


Regulated parties must ensure animals are not overcrowded through appropriate planning and effective communication about loading densities.

Conveyances are not overloaded to prevent the panic and piling due to lack of space.

This is an outcome based regulation.

Compliance with HAR s.148 will be assessed by observing animals in a conveyance and evaluating if there is any indication of problems that occurred or were likely to be encountered due to overcrowding, such as animal to animal contact that results in:

Recommended loading densities and charts are provided in the NFACC Codes of Practice for some species. Remember that standard loading density charts apply to "ideal" situations: where fit, healthy animals are being transported under good conditions and should be used as a guideline. Each scenario must be evaluated case by case because there are many factors that impact these situations.

Loading densities must be adjusted for:

Loading density calculations must take into account the space available to animals. Do not include areas of the floor covered by physical obstacles as "available space". This can include such things as:


The appropriate number of animals for a load depends on the type and size of the animal in question, the condition of the animal, the kind of transport vehicle, the temperature, the humidity, what other animals are on the load, and many other factors.

16.0 Isolation – HAR section 149

16.1 Required outcomes

Incompatible animals are isolated from one another to prevent suffering, injury or death.

16.2 Guidance to regulated parties

Isolation is to be interpreted as the physical separation of animals from each other to minimize the potential for injury, suffering or death of an animal due to aggression, trauma, social dominance, or other forms of physical or psychological harm. Despite the fact that a physical separation is required, for social species it may be preferable to allow for visual contact between the incompatible animal(s) and its cohorts.

This provision focuses on separating animals, or segregating groups of animals, from others (for example, different species, size, weight, age, etc.) for their safety. This may be one animal by itself or groups of animals separated from each other.

An animal is deemed incompatible with another if it is likely to cause injury, suffering or death to the other animal.

The animals' general behaviour patterns can usually be reasonably predicted based on factors such as condition, species, sex, age, breed, class, reproductive status, and the presence of young animals however other factors may be involved. Handlers are required to be aware of the potential incompatibility between animals and if in doubt, should isolate them.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

Variables such as previous experience and temperament cannot be predicted based on species. Regulated parties must also make isolation decisions based on reports or observation of the specific animals, such as:

Most animals, when grouped together, require time to establish a social order, sometimes referred to as a "pecking order". As a result, unfamiliar animals should be mixed prior to loading to allow sufficient time for the establishment of a social order in a new group.

Species specific NFACC Codes of practice provide recommendations about isolation.

17.0 Conveyances and containers – HAR section 150

17.1 Required outcomes

Conveyances and containers are designed, constructed, equipped, maintained and used to prevent animal suffering, injury or death. In addition, the conveyance and the container, if the animal is within either, must:

If using a container on a conveyance, the container must be secured to the conveyance in a manner that prevents it from moving during transport.

In addition, animals must be visible from outside of the container or there must be readily visible signs indicating:

Air transport of animals must be done in a container that meets the design and construction requirements that are set out in the Live Animals Regulations (LAR) by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Use the most recent edition.

17.2 Guidance to regulated parties

Container requirements

The requirements apply to transport on land and on vessels. Some are prescriptive, and some are outcome based. For example, section 150 requires that a container meet all the requirements on the check list, and it describes the outcome that must be achieved: containers used must prevent animal suffering, injury or death. If a situation is not covered by specific prescriptive requirement list, only the outcome based requirement will be evaluated.

Consider factors such as the size, sex, temperament, behaviour patterns, infirmity, and the physical and physiological requirements of the animals when choosing a container.

Some examples of practices that are not compliant with this regulation, and are not suitable include:

Absorptive bedding

HAR 150(3) requires that floors of conveyances and containers for livestock, cervids, camelid or ratites be strewn with enough bedding material to absorb and prevent the pooling or escape of water, urine and liquid manure. This requirement is both prescriptive (presence of litter) and outcome based (quality and quantity of litter).

The reasons absorptive bedding material is required during animal transport include:

18.0 Vessels – HAR sections 151, 151.1, 151.2


These sections of the HAR apply to sea carriers, in other words, the owner of a vessel who is engaged in the business of transporting animals by water for financial benefit (livestock carrier). Time spent by animals in pens on board a vessel fitted for the transport of unloaded livestock does not count towards the maximum interval without rest.

Where journeys include the transport of a road vehicle on a ferry, during which time the animals are not unloaded, the stewardship of the animals remains with the driver of the motor vehicle into which the animals are confined and the time spent on board the vessel counts towards the total FWR interval. If the maximum interval without FWR is reached during the sea journey, the animals must be unloaded, rested, fed and watered for at least 8 hours at or near the port of unloading, before the journey may continue. This rest may only be taken on the conveyance if all the requirements in section 152.3 of the HAR are met.

18.1 Required outcomes

Vessels must:

If the duration of the transport is expected to exceed 6 hours, the sea carrier or vessel master shall, at least 24 hours before the departure, provide a veterinary inspector with:

Livestock and poultry on a vessel must not be transported in the vicinity of an engine casing or boiler room casing if it is likely to cause the animals to suffer, sustain an injury or die, unless the casing is covered and insulated in order to prevent their suffering, injury or death.

18.2 Guidance to regulated parties

Sea carriers are commercial carriers, and as such are subject to many of the same general requirements found in Part XII of the HAR and additional sections that reflect the challenge of transporting animals humanely by sea that are different those of land transport. All those involved directly and those who cause the confinement and transport of animals by sea share responsibility.

Animals must be prepared for the journey and cared for during a sea voyage.

The vessel must be designed, used and maintained so that:

Transportation by sea may last several weeks, during which there is no opportunity to unload the animals, or to access extra assistance, feed, water, or medical equipment or supplies. Extra precautions and careful planning are required to be prepared to face challenges during this type of transport. Small oversights may cause significant consequences to animal welfare.

Animals require additional protection from:

Preparation of Animals

To reduce animal stress and suffering, sea carriers are advised to:


Livestock or poultry are cared for by an adequate number of attendants or stockpersons for the animals being transported. There should be a sufficient number of attendants to ensure that each animal is provided with the care it needs to ensure its welfare throughout the entire journey. The determination is based on the training and skill level of the attendants, the type of feeding, watering and waste removal system on board (whether automated or not), on the number and species of animals transported and on the duration of the voyage.

Before leaving the port, notify the veterinary inspector of the intended transport by sea

In the case of sea voyages of 6 hours or more (this includes land transport conveyances that will be transported onto ferries for 6 hours or more), the following information for transport by sea (in other words, additional to the requirements of 154 (1)) must be provided to the veterinary inspector at least 24 hours prior to departure:

How to calculate the required amount of feed:
Days of voyage increments of 4 days Feed to have on board
1-4 1 Numbers of days of voyage plus 1
5-8 2 Numbers of days of voyage plus 2
9-12 3 Numbers of days of voyage plus 3
13-16 4 Numbers of days of voyage plus 4
16-20 5 Numbers of days of voyage plus 5

19.0 Feed, safe water and rest – HAR sections 152, 152.1, 152.2, 152.3, 152.4

19.1 Required outcomes

The date, time and place where the animal was last fed, watered and rested will be recorded at the time of loading by both commercial carriers and people transporting animals either during the course of business or for financial gain.

Animals will be provided with feed:

Animals will be provided with safe water in amounts that are sufficient to prevent them from becoming dehydrated.

Animals will be provided with rest that is appropriate for their species, age and condition in order to prevent the animals from suffering from exhaustion, and at intervals that do not exceed the following:

Table 1. FWR: Maximum allowed intervals without feed, water, and rest (s. 152.2(1))
Species and Class Maximum time interval (in hours) without feed, water, rest
Compromised animal of any species, size, age, sex, or breed 12

Livestock, cervids, and camelids that are 8 days of age or less

Ruminants that are too young to be fed exclusively on hay and grain

12 (single period, not repeated)


Broiler chickens, spent laying hens and rabbits

24 for safe water

28 for feed

Porcine 28
Equine 28
Bovine, and other ruminants that can be fed exclusively on hay and grain 36
All other animals 36
Day-old poultry (from the time of hatching) 72 (single period, not repeated)

An interval begins:

Section 152.2(4) breaks down the definition of what constitutes FWR intervals. A FWR interval begins when the animal last had access to the element. So as soon as one element (in other words, F, W or R) is not available to the animal, the time interval starts and that element must be provided within the maximum interval. In most cases, all three elements (FWR) would be provided at that time to avoid multiple stops.

In most cases for practical purposes as soon as one element (FWR) is not available, the maximum time interval until FWR begins and dictates when FWR will be next provided. Though it is theoretically possible to time each element separately, this will not be feasible in most cases. Providing one element does not "restart the clock for all elements" (only for the element that was provided).

Example 1:

If feed is removed from pigs 4 hours before loading, but they have water available until the time of loading, in theory a transporter would need to stop after 24 hours:

28 hours (max withdrawal time for this species) - 4 hours (feed withdrawal prior to transport) = 24 hours (allowed transport time before having to stop to feed the pigs).

In theory, even though the pigs need to be fed 24 hours into the trip, there are still 4 hours before the pigs need to be given water as they had water right up to loading. It would be possible to provide feed only at 24 hours of transport and still be compliant with the regulations (provided the FWR outcomes are still met). You would remain compliant for the next 4 hours until the maximum time for water withdrawal is also reached. That is to say, you can (in theory) pull over and provide one FWR element at a time, however the impact of multiple stops on the welfare of animals must be considered as well as the transporter's time. For practical purposes the maximum time an animal can go without FWR will be dictated by the element(s) that the animal "runs out of time for" first. At that point, usually FWR will all be provided at the same time.

Example 2:

A batch of rabbits have both feed and water until the time of loading. They arrive at a slaughter establishment 20 hours later. If they cannot be processed, the rabbits must be provided with a source of water within the next 4 hours:

24 hours (max water withdrawal time for this species) - 20 hours (transport) = 4 hours (remain before the rabbits must be humanely killed or given water).

The rabbits must be provided feed within the next 8 hours:

28 hours (max feed withdrawal time for this species) – 20 hours (transport) = 8 hours (remain before the rabbits must be humanely killed or given feed)

In this example, if the humane killing of the rabbits cannot happen within 4 hours, then the regulated party could provide the elements of water and feed at two different times and remain in compliance with the regulation (within 4 hours for water and within 8 hours for feed). A situation could occur where the animals are provided water while they wait 6 hours to be slaughtered (26 hours total), however feed is not provided as they are slaughtered before the 28 maximum interval for feed is reached.

Animals in the transport process must be monitored for FWR needs on a regular basis by those who transport them, or cause them to be transported. The "appropriate" frequency to monitor animals in transport will vary according to the situation.

When a conveyance (suitably equipped) is stopped to provide feed, safe water and rest to the animals, the following conditions are met:

Providing for FWR at prescribed maximum transport intervals is not required if the conveyance meets all the following conditions (s. 152.4(1)):

Providing for FWR at prescribed maximum transport intervals is not required if containers meet all the following conditions (s. 152.4(2)):

19.2 Guidance to regulated parties

There are prescriptive maximum FWR requirements for poultry, rabbits, horses, pigs, compromised, and for all other animals (for example, cattle, bison, turkeys, ducks, goats, sheep, ratites, cats, dogs) as well as outcome based requirements.

Each species and each class of animal has a unique physiology that dictates its feed and water requirements.

An individual animal's transport experience will affect its hunger, thirst and fatigue. This can include variables such as:

Commercial carrier and any other person transporting the animal in the course of business or for financial benefit are responsible for determining the date, time and place where the animal was last fed, watered and rested. The responsibility of deciding when to remove the feed prior to transport is jointly shared by producers, processing companies and other mandataries:

They are intended for the average animal that is deemed to be fit for the intended journey and within the species and class listed.

However, some animals may not be able to tolerate the above intervals, thus requiring feed, water and rest at more frequent intervals and possibly for longer periods between transport events.

Animals must be monitored on a regular basis throughout the transport continuum to determine if animals in the load require FWR prior to the maximum intervals.

If animals are approaching dehydration, a nutritional deficit or exhaustion (outcome based requirements), prior to reaching the maximum interval, the animal's needs must take precedence and the transporter take prompt action.

Example of the application of both outcomes based and prescriptive requirements

The maximum time limit to transport adult, healthy, fit pigs without FWR is 28 hours from the time of feed and water withdrawal on farm until the pigs are next offered feed, water and rest. However, on a very hot and humid day, pigs may suffer from dehydration after as few as 6 hours of transportation which, if feed and water are removed prior to loading as is generally done, may be 10-12 hours from last access. The operator of the conveyance is responsible for taking measures such as providing water to the pigs even though the maximum allowable time interval as described in 152.2 has yet to be reached. Should the operator of the conveyance ignore the needs of the animals and should the animals arrive at their final destination within the 28 hour time limit, but are determined to be dehydrated, exhausted and/or suffering from nutritional deficiencies, the transporter would be found non-compliant and may be subject to enforcement action.

It is important to note that even if feed, water or rest are provided to an animal to address its immediate needs, that a new interval does not begin until the animal has full access to feed and water and has been rested for a minimum of 8 hours.

CFIA inspector discretion with respect to enforcement of prescriptive FWR time intervals

Locations to provide feed, water and rest

Once the transporter determines that the animals must be fed, watered and rested, this can be done by unloading the animals at a suitable FWR station/location or on board a suitable conveyance. Such a facility or conveyance needs to have sufficient supplies of, and give each animal access to, feed and water and must have sufficient space for all of the animals to lie down at the same time without affecting the welfare of other animals in doing so. The conveyance or the facility must be well ventilated and held at a temperature that allows suitable rest and must provide the animals an environment that will keep them clean and dry, be well bedded and have secure footing.

Options include FWR locations or stopped (suitably equipped) conveyances that meet all of the same requirements. It is acceptable and advisable to coordinate animal rest stops with driver rest stops if that is optimal to minimize transport and confinement times. It is important to note that rest is not considered to have occurred while a conveyance is moving. Therefore rest for the purposes of interval timing will only be deemed to have occurred when the load has not been moved for 8 or more hours.

There are benefits and disadvantages to the provision of FWR at FWR rest locations versus on board a stopped (suitably equipped) conveyance meeting all the requirements (s. 152.3). FWR rest locations can provide adequate conditions and facilities but require that animals be unloaded and therefore handled. They are however needed to address the animal's needs when the transport and confinement duration is prolonged. While providing FWR for animals while on board a conveyance can remove the need for unloading, the potential for handling stress and possible injury, there are concerns regarding space, the quality of rest, weather protection, bedding cleanliness, safe footing, air quality, and feed and water access that remain.

Rest Stop Requirements (s. 152.3)

Rest periods, must not be less than 8 consecutive hours (time to next required rest starts after the animal has been rested 8 hours).

When possible, animals should be kept in their transport groups. Ideally, pens should be designed to hold 1 or 2 truckloads with smaller pens for small lots.

All of the following conditions must be met when the (suitably equipped) conveyance is stopped for the purposes of providing animals with FWR:

Rough guidelines for stocking density for animals held overnight are published by the North American Meat Institute (NAMI) and are available online. They include the following guidelines:

Safe water for animals

Water must be safe for the animals and provide hydration.

Spraying crates, modules or trailers does not constitute access to potable water.

FWR (Poultry)

Note that the maximum time without feed (28 hours) for poultry is different than the time without water (24 hours). This is due to the fact that food sources in large poultry barns are (usually) removed 4 hours prior to catching/loading poultry, and water is (usually) available until time of catching and loading.

The poultry producer is responsible for causing the animals to be loaded. They must assess the condition of their animals prior to transport, and only those fit for transport are to be loaded. They must also provide the time of last FWR.

Catching crews can be hired as "agents" and be trained to assess the birds at the time of loading but this does not absolve producers of their responsibility under HAR.

Catching crews need to have the knowledge and skills required to do their job (loading is part of transport). Loading should be monitored so that no unfit birds are loaded by accident.

All laying hens, even if they have not yet reached their end of lay, are considered "spent laying hens". Birds that have produced eggs are more vulnerable during transport due to bone weakness, fatty liver/hemorrhage, and poor feathering. The maximum interval without access to safe water is 24 hours, and is 28 hours for feed and rest.

Pullets are captured under the requirements for "all other animals" for maximum FWR intervals (36 hours), as unlike laying hens, these birds have not yet laid eggs and not had a depletion of energy reserves.

Turkeys, ducks, broiler breeders and quail are categorized as "other animals" as far as maximum FWR intervals (36 hours).

Note, in all cases, for all bird types, the outcomes must also be met. If they need nutrition, water or rest along the way, their needs must be addressed. That is, shorter times may be needed to meet the required outcomes.

The requirement for access to feed for poultry would not be met by pouring feed over the crates or modules or putting plates of food in the crates or modules which creates competition and incompatibility.

Hydration for rabbits

Supplying lagomorphs (for example, rabbits) with adequate quantities of lettuce and carrots may meet the requirement of them having access to feed and water because they are able to take approximately 80 percent of their water requirements from this type of feed.

HAR FWR requirements crossover with SFCR s.136 (FWR times in federal slaughter establishments)

A regulated party must comply with all legal requirements. Sometimes more than one Act and its regulations may apply to a situation.

In a federal slaughter plant, a license holder must comply with both the HAR and the SFCR.

When one regulation sets requirements that are stricter than the other, the license holder must comply with the one that is more strict.

Section 153(1) of the HAR says the responsibility of the animal's care is transferred to the consignee (slaughter establishment license holder) when they acknowledge receipt of the Transfer of Care notice.

The license holder is required by the HAR to comply with the FWR intervals set out in this section of the HAR:

Example 1: Broiler chickens (24hr for safe water, 28 for feed)

Example 2: Turkeys (36 hours maximum FWR interval)

When fully equipped conveyances are used for the transport of animals as per section 152.4

There is a difference between a fully equipped conveyance as defined in Part XII of the HAR 152.4 and a conveyance that is not fully equipped but is otherwise capable of meeting the requirements listed under 152.3. The later, even if it is capable of meeting all of the requirements of a FWR location – including space for all animals to lie down at the same time, fresh bedding etc. – is not exempt from the maximum FWR interval requirement in 152.2 because it is not fully equipped. Feed and water can be provided on board (without unloading) but the (suitably equipped) conveyance must be stopped for at least 8 consecutive hours in order to meet the rest requirement.

Fully equipped conveyances as defined in Part XII of the HAR 152.4 are equipped with additional requirements such as but not limited to environmental controls and monitoring systems. Regulated parties using these fully equipped conveyances are not required to meet maximum allowed time intervals. They must however meet the outcome based requirements for the provision of FWR as described in 152.1 as well as all other requirements in Part XII of the HAR.

Feed and water for sea transport: During transport by sea, animals must have access to feed and water, and are never to exceed the prescribed maximum intervals, even in the case of unanticipated delays (for example, rough waters, international trade barriers, movement restrictions, etc.).  Sea carriers must consider the possibility of such delays in calculating feed and water requirements and must have an additional day of feed and water for every 4 days of planned journey time.  See vessels section for more information.

20.0 Transfer of care – HAR section 153

20.1 Required outcomes

To ensure continuity of care, no animal is to be left at any slaughter facility, or assembly centre without written notice that care has been transferred between the transporter and the receiver. This is done to ensure that the individual responsible for caring for the animals can be clearly identified at all times. These documents should be kept for 2 years.

The written document includes:

If a transporter leaves animals without acknowledgement from the receiver, they could be held responsible for their care. The transporter could choose to not leave the animals. The transporter must document their decision taken and why it was in the best interest of the welfare of the animals. While they cannot make other regulated parties do the right thing, they can document what they did.

20.2 Guidance to regulated parties

Section 153 applies only to animals delivered to slaughter establishments or assembly centres.

The format of the transfer of care document is left up to the regulated parties, however the document must be legible, contain the information prescribed by s.153, and demonstrate the transfer/acknowledgement of the animals. It is not mandatory for the receiver to be physically present, but they are to acknowledge receipt of the load with written documentation that is retrievable and unalterable for legal purposes.

The document is intended to prevent gaps in time when no one is responsible for the animals care during the transport process (for example, drop off of animals in the middle of the night to an assembly centre). This is to ensure continuity of care and protect all regulated parties.

The transfer of care document can be used to establish and verify which regulated party is responsible for the animals at a given time. Reviewing the particular situation will determine the accountability. Both parties have potential accountability since the regulations apply to both.

The transfer of care document provides both Regulated Party's with an opportunity to exercise due diligence and document if the animals are not in the condition the notice suggests.

Producers do not have to provide a transfer of care document to commercial carriers, as this action can be captured under s.138.3 (assessment) and s. 154 (records). The producer is responsible for the welfare of the animals in their care (whether they are onsite or not) until the animals are released to the transporter. Animal welfare on-farm is regulated by provincial law. A transfer of care document is not required because the accountability of the parties involved is clearly established in provincial law. However, if both parties want to use a similar notice and they agree on it, this document can be examine as part of a humane transport inspection.

It is important to note that the HAR requirements crossover with the SFCR requirements in federal slaughter establishments. A regulated party must comply with all legal requirements and in some situations more than one Act and its regulations may apply. When one regulation sets requirements that are stricter than the other, the license holder must comply with the one that is more strict.

Advice for the consignees

It is not acceptable to prolong animal suffering by refusing a shipment that contains animals that were shipped in a non-compliant manner. In this case, the consignee should document the issues, the timing and report their findings to both the transporter (immediately) and the CFIA (as soon as possible).

Document non-compliant loads and prioritize the processing/care of suffering animals. This includes unloading and handling unfit and compromised animals as required in the HAR sections 139 and 140.

Advice for transporters

Documents that will help a regulated party verify their compliance with the regulation include:

A copy of the notice of arrival, the documentation (including the condition of the animal upon arrival, the date, time when and where was the last access to FWR and the date and time of arrival) and the acknowledgement of the notice and documentation from the consignee, may be requested by a CFIA inspector at any time. As such, regulated parties are advised to keep the transfer of care notices for at least 2 years.

The consignee is advised to assess the animal carefully prior to submitting the acknowledgment of receipt to the transporter. As well, the transporter is advised to carefully identify and to note any concerns prior to loading and to clearly detail the issues and measures taken as well any changes in condition to the consignee to ensure that all parties are aware of the actions required to adequately care for the animal in question.

The format of the transfer of care is left to the regulated parties, however the documents must be legible and contains:

Section 153(1) of the HAR says the responsibility of the animal's care is transferred to the consignee (slaughter establishment license holder) when they acknowledge receipt of the Transfer of Care notice.

When a load is determined to contain unfit animals or animals that are otherwise considered to have been transported in a manner that is non-compliant: the consignee, upon inspecting the load, may determine that there are animals contained therein that were not transported in full compliance with regulatory requirements.

The load should not be rejected over concerns of enforcement action. The consignee is to document the issues and the timing and report their findings to CFIA as soon as possible. A CFIA inspector will assess the situation and consider whether there may have been a non-compliance with Part XII. The animals are to be handled in accordance with sections 139 and 140.


A load of 150 hogs is received at a slaughter establishment and contains 3 dead animals and several others that are determined to be compromised without having been given adequate provisions. One is non-ambulatory. Some were clearly loaded as unfit in that they have body conditions scores of 1 and as such would have been emaciated at the time of loading. The consignee is concerned that CFIA will assess the animals and take enforcement action with the receiver. In this case and in order to assist in verifying compliance prior to that time, the consignee is to identify the concerns to the transporter immediately. While the acknowledgement of receipt of the shipment will transfer the responsibility of care to the consignee, identification of pre-existing conditions as identified in the example will assist in verifying compliance before that time.

Prolonging animal suffering by refusing a shipment that contains animals that were shipped in a non-compliant manner in order to avoid potential enforcement action is strongly discouraged. Accurate documentation of concerns at the time of acknowledgement of receipt of animals will expedite appropriate and targeted enforcement action. Regulated parties are advised to contact CFIA and to document all relevant information on non-compliant loads and to prioritize the processing and/or the care of suffering animals in a manner that meets the requirements of the regulation.


There is no set format for the Transfer of Care (TOC) documentation. Regulated parties can choose to add the TOC notice on the animal transport record. If using a single document to meet both TOC and records requirements (s. 153 and s. 154), a copy of the paperwork will be necessary where a(n):

  • transporter must give TOC documentation (s. 153: notice of arrival and required accompanying document) to the abattoir/assembly centre
  • abattoir/assembly centre should keep this document in files, and
  • transporter must keep the records with the required info (s. 154) for 2 years

21.0 Record keeping for transport (commercial carriers and those who transport in the course of business or for financial benefit) – HAR section 154

21.1 Required outcomes

Commercial carriers, and those who transport animals in the course of business or for financial benefit, must keep records related to the movement of those animals. Records must be made prior to departure and during transport.

Intent: this information protects the welfare of animals in transport, and those who transport animals by ensuring that important information is available and transferred to those who accept care and control of the animals further down the transport chain.

Exception: Animal transport records are not required for movement of animals for routine animal husbandry/management, between land locations on a property where no transfer of stewardship takes place.

Examples of excepted transport include: moving animals at the end of gestation to a calving barn, moving animals between pastures on the property, or moving birds between barns as they grow.

The regulation prescribes the information to be contained in the records:

Any changes to the information above, must be noted as soon as possible (s. 154(2)), and the following information must be added to the record when transport ends:

These written records must be kept for a period of 2 years (HAR s. 91.3)

21.2 Guidance to regulated parties

The Health of Animals Act (s. 35(1)) requires that regulated parties provide accurate information.

The format of the record is not prescribed. The regulated party can choose the format of the records.

The records must:

FWR requirements: record the last time the animals had access to FWR and who gave you that information.

Scenario: The conveyor or auger is shut off at 4 am on day 1.

Carriers must add information as it becomes available:

Duplication of record keeping requirements: The regulated party does not have to repeat information in separate documents. A single document that meets all needs is acceptable. Although CFIA does not prescribe the format, it should be noted that the records, or a copy, must be available if requested by CFIA.

22.0 Dead and seriously injured animals – HAR section 155

22.1 Required outcomes

Every air carrier and sea carrier (on the completion of a flight or a sea voyage), at the port of embarkation, will:

22.2 Guidance to regulated parties

This is a specific requirement for reporting of negative outcomes when animals are moved by air and sea, and is in addition to the records requirement (provision 154).

23.0 Coming into force

Part XII came into force on the first anniversary of the day on which it is published in the Canada Gazette, Part II (February 20, 2020).

CFIA will implement a 2 year compliance promotion period for the maximum prescriptive feed, water and rest intervals for all sectors. For these time intervals from February 20, 2020, for 2 years, the CFIA will focus its activities on compliance promotion through education and awareness measures, which are part of the CFIA's continuum of enforcement actions.

It is important to note that the regulations also contain outcome-based requirements to ensure that animals are not likely to suffer, be injured or die during transport (for example, from adverse weather, overcrowding or other conditions). With respect to the feed, water, and rest outcome-based requirements, animals are to be provided with feed, water and rest during a transport journey in order to ensure they do not suffer from exhaustion, a nutritional deficit or dehydration. The CFIA has the discretion to enforce these outcome-based requirements to prevent and act on situations where animal welfare is compromised.

Appendix 1 – Definitions and key terms used for the humane transport of animals (those marked with * are defined within Part XII of the HAR)

This section clarifies the meaning of specific terms as they are used for the purpose of the Health of Animals Regulations (HAR) – Part XII and will be posted shortly. Those marked with and asterisk (*) are terms defined in Part XII of the HAR. See specific sections for terms pertaining to unfit (section 7) and compromised (section 8).

Additionally, general definitions may be found in the Health of Animals Act.



Acute Frostbite

Frostbite occurs when exposure to low temperatures causes freezing of the skin or tissue. Acute frostbite can cause skin discolouration, swelling and blistering. Frostbite is painful. Movement of the injured tissue will likely cause additional pain. Complications of frostbite can include hypothermia or compartment syndrome: inflammation causes an influx of fluid into a closed muscle area and pressure increases. A pressure increase, normal blood flow in the compartment is reduced resulting in death or infection of the affected tissue. This can be a life threatening condition. (Engelures aiguës)

Animal behaviour

The way in which an animal acts in response to a particular situation or stimulus. This includes both normal and abnormal behaviour for the species.

Things to consider in relation to animal behaviour include, but are not limited to:

  • behaviours that are typical for the species that would indicate stress due to pain, hypothermia or hyperthermia and fear
  • herding and/or flock instincts
  • response to social isolation
  • principles of restraint and handling
  • flight zones and points of balance
  • field of view, depth perception, colour perception and visual and auditory distractions
  • probable response to stimuli (for example, startle response – are they prone to panic, fight or flight?)
  • individual animal variation (in other words, variations within species)
  • prior stress levels, handling experiences, and health status
  • dominance behaviour and what to expect when mixing lots (pens or groups) of unfamiliar animals
  • space requirements for the type of animal
  • compatibility with other animals

See species specific NFACC Codes of practice for additional information.
(Comportement animal)

Assembly centre*

Defined in Part XII of the HAR, s. 136 (1) as a place to which animals are transported for the purpose of assembly. This includes an auction market, assembly yard or a holding facility, that holds, on behalf of a slaughter establishment, animals that are destined soon afterwards for slaughter at that slaughter establishment.

Guidance: If an animal has become compromised during transport, and an assembly centre is the nearest place it can be taken, once there, it must be humanely killed or cared for (not marketed or assembled for further transport).

A feed, water, rest stop is not considered an assembly centre as typically there is no change in responsibility or ownership of the animals. (Centre de rassemblement)


Blind in both eyes (a compromised or unfit condition)

Animals that are blind in both eyes may be considered compromised or unfit depending on how and when the vision loss occurred.

Evaluating blindness, and whether the condition will put the affected animal at risk of suffering additional distress as the result of transport, requires experience, judgement, and knowledge of the context of the specific situation.

When an animal exhibits any behaviour and/or physical signs that lead one to conclude that it is visually compromised, the risk that the planned transport poses to that animal and prevention of suffering must be considered.

Regulated parties are encouraged to document details of their risk assessment and the steps taken to protect animals from additional suffering due to transporting an animal with compromised vision.

Vision loss can happen quickly or slowly.

Slow progression to blindness (or blindness from birth) can be adapted to and these animals can be very functional in familiar environments. The stresses of transport (for example, mixing, loading, moving and crowding) are very likely to cause avoidable stress to "adapted blind" animals, and they require specialized care in transport.

Animals that are fully adapted to 2 sided blindness can be considered compromised and therefore can be moved with special provisions as per compromised animals.

An animal that has recently or suddenly become blind is considered unfit for transport. They will not have had time to adapt to their blindness. It is very likely that these animals will be disoriented and will suffer so they cannot be transported even with special provisions. (Atteint de cécité des deux yeux)


Bloat is a condition of ruminants where gas accumulates in the rumen causing stretching of tissues with associated pain and discomfort. Bloat can lead to death from respiratory failure. (Ballonnement)

Bloat with discomfort and weakness (an unfit condition)

Animals with bloat severe enough to be accompanied by panting, labored breathing, unsteady gait, discomfort, mucous membrane discolouration, and/or dehydration are likely to be in severe pain and are unfit to load for transport.

There is a risk that an animal with bloat will deteriorate due to additional accumulation of gas, respiratory distress or fatigue (which can make the animal lie down). Death can occur rapidly in "down" animals. This is why bloat with discomfort and weakness make an animal unfit for transport. (Ballonnement accompagné de signes d'inconfort ou de faiblesse)

Bloat without discomfort or weakness (a compromised condition)

Bloat can progress from mild to severe quickly. An animal that is bloated to any degree that causes discomfort cannot be loaded without prior treatment to resolve the condition. If treated and is not showing pain, the animal can be loaded with special provisions as per a compromised animal. The animal needs to be monitored frequently throughout the journey for possible recurrence of bloat. (Ballonnement sans signe d'inconfort ou de faiblesse)


Commercial carrier*

Defined in Part XII of the HAR, s. 136 (1) as: The owner(s) of a motor vehicle who is engaged in the business of transporting animals by land, air or water for financial benefit.

This term can refer to those who operate a transport business or who are in the business of transporting animals for compensation.

Only commercial carriers who have employees agents and mandataries are required to provide humane transport training for employees (s. 138.1).

Commercial carriers and any other person who transports animals for financial benefit are required to:

  • have contingency plans in case of emergency.
  • keep records related to the movement of animals (s. 154) and transfer of care and control (s. 153) of the animals if leaving at a slaughter establishment or assembly yard.
  • Have the knowledge and skills (s.138) to transport their animals.

Examples of commercial carriers:

  • carriers who own vehicles that are hired to transport animals
  • owner-operators who contract an agent (employee) to transport animals
  • large, vertically integrated companies with a transport division
    • for example: slaughter establishments that own vehicles they use to transport the animals to be slaughtered

Examples of persons not considered commercial carriers but are transporting animals for financial benefit:

  • a producer transporting their own animals to an assembly yard.
  • a feedlot that transports animals to slaughter once a week

Examples of persons not considered commercial carriers or transporting for financial benefit

  • a horse owner transporting their animal to compete in a barrel race.
  • a neighbor or friend who occasionally transports your animals in exchange for baked goods.
  • A pet owner taking their animal on a trip.

A producer moving their animals from one area of their property to another for normal care or production. (Transporteur commercial)


A list of defined conditions that make an animal compromised are in Part XII of the HAR, s. 136 (1) see section 8 of this document for more detail.

An animal with a reduced capacity to withstand transportation. The animal may exhibit signs of infirmity, illness, injury or fatigue.

Compromised animals can be loaded for transport only if special provisions are taken. s. 136(1). The maximum time a compromised animal can be without feed, water and rest is 12 hours (s. 152.2(1)). (Fragilisé)

Confine/confinement for transport*

Defined in Part XII of the HAR, s. 136 (1) as: means, for the purpose of transporting an animal, to hold an animal in a conveyance or container from the time that the animal is in the conveyance or container until the time that the animal is out of the conveyance or container

This includes the holding of an animal in a conveyance or container, for the purpose of, or with the intention to, transport the animal. Confinement continues the entire time the animal is held in the container or conveyance. Crated animals are considered confined from the time they are placed into the container until they are unloaded from the container. This includes time that crated or contained animals are held in lairage prior to slaughter. (Confinés/confinement aux fins de transport)


Defined in Part XII of the HAR, s. 136 (1): a structure that is moveable, has rigid sides and a rigid bottom and may have a cover. It is used to confine an animal and includes cargo containers, and crates.

A container used in the context of the regulation must meet the requirements as set out in section 150(1), (see section 17 of this document for more information). (Caisse)

Contingency plans

A procedure to be used in the event of unforeseen transport (for example, an accident, inclement weather or traffic delays). The plan will also include instructions about what to do if the animal becomes compromised.

Contingency plans should be realistic, practical and prevent the suffering of animals.

Persons who transport animals for financial gain must share contingency plans with their employees, mandataries and agents (s. 138.2). (Plans d'intervention)


Includes all modes of transport including aircraft, carriage, motor vehicle, trailer, railway car, vessel, crate, cargo container, or any other contraption used to move animals.

The regulation requires they be designed, constructed, equipped, maintained and used to prevent animal suffering injury and death (s. 150(1) (a-j)). (Véhicule)


Deformity or fully healed amputation (no signs of pain) (a compromised condition)

This category of "compromised" focuses on limb amputations that do not cause the animal to exhibit signs of pain and for which the animal has adapted. These animals that lose a limb, part of a limb, or were born with defects will still have a reduced capacity to withstand transport.

Fully healed amputated tails are unlikely to lead to transport related issues in species that do not rely on the tail for balance as so may not be considered compromised.

Knowledge and judgment will be needed to assess each case. (Malformation ou amputation dont l'animal est complètement remis (sans présenté de signe de douleur))

Dehydration (signs and causes)

Dehydration a lack of body fluid (decrease in the volume of blood plasma). Dehydrated animals may show the following physical signs:

  • dry mucous membranes
  • eyes that appear sunken (mild to severe depending on the degree)
  • skin loses its ability to return to the normal position if tented (gently lifted and released)
  • an increase in capillary response times.

If dehydration is not corrected, animals can suffer hypovolemic shock and cardiac collapse, eventually resulting in death.
Animals can become dehydrated due to:

  • restricted access to water
  • a medical issue that prevents them from drinking effectively (for example, foreign body or tumor in their mouth or throat)
  • excessive fluid loss (for example, kidney failure or diarrhea)

Even in fit animals, high heat and humidity may lead to dehydration prior the maximum intervals for water provision found in s. 152.2(1).

Prior to transport, animals must be well hydrated and remain hydrated for the intended duration of the transport process.

If you are uncertain whether an animal is dehydrated, or needs more frequent access to water than expected, you are advised to consult a veterinarian. If in doubt that the animal can remain adequately hydrated throughout the planned transport, do not load them. (Déshydratation (signes et causes))


Feed, water and rest (FWR) maximum interval
  • Begin when the first animal in the load has any of the elements (its feed, water and access to rest) taken away prior to transport. The timing will vary depending on the type of animal and its management.
    • for example, with poultry in mass housing, the FWR interval starts when the feed auger is turned off (even if they have continued access to water after that)
    • for bunker fed cattle, the FWR interval begins when they last had access to feed, even though they may have continued access to water after that
    • for a calf under 9 days of age, the FWR time begins when the calf last had milk
  • A new FWR interval does not begin unless the animal has full access to feed and water and has been rested for a minimum of 8 hours.
  • End when the last animal in the load is provided with food, water and rest at the end of the journey, or (for crated animals) when the animal is unloaded to be slaughtered or enters a stunning chamber.

Maximum time (longest) period an animal can be transported between periods of feed, water and rest.

These times are prescribed by regulation and apply in cases of average animals that are fit for the intended journey. (Intervalles maximaux sans aliment, eau salubre et au repos (AER))

FWR (outcome based requirement)

Animals may require feed, water and rest at more frequent intervals and for longer periods than the maximum prescribed in the regulation.

If animals are at risk of becoming dehydrated, exhausted or of having a nutritional deficit prior to reaching the maximum interval, the animal's needs take precedence and the transporter must promptly take action to address these situations. (AER (exigences axées sur les résultats))

Feed, water and rest station/stop

A rest stop with suitable facilities for animals that are being transported to be unloaded and provided with feed, water and rest, in accordance with the HAR s. 152.3. See section 19 of this document for further information. (Arrêt/station d'alimentation, d'abreuvement et de repos)

Final destination

The final destination of an animal is the ultimate place where it is transported at the end of a journey. It does not include intermediate sites such as assembly centres (including auction markets), rest areas, FWR stations, assembly parks, where the animal could be temporarily unloaded during the trip. (Destination finale)

Fracture that impedes the animal's mobility or where it exhibits pain or suffering (an unfit condition)

An animal with a fracture to the pelvis, limb or any other fracture that will impact its mobility or is likely to cause severe pain or suffering when the animal is handled or transported. Fractures of the limbs and pelvis cause severe pain. The handling, loading and transportation (vehicle movement, prolonged standing, balancing, jostling) with these injuries is likely to cause additional movement of tissues and pain, inflammation, and suffering; therefore, animals with these conditions are unfit for transport.

If such a fracture occurs while in transit, the transporters must take action to treat or humanely kill the animal as soon as possible, as per s. 139(4). (Fracture gênant la mobilité de l'animal ou en raison de laquelle il présente des signes de douleur ou de souffrance)

Fully equipped conveyance or container

Vehicles or containers which are equipped with all additional requirements that are listed HAR s. 152.4 (for example, environmental controls and monitoring systems).

Regulated parties using these fully equipped conveyances have flexibility for maximum allowed FWR time intervals but still must meet the outcome-based requirements for the provision of FWR as described in s. 152.1. See section 19 of this guidance for more information. (Véhicule ou caisse entièrement équipés)


Gangrenous udder (an unfit condition)

Animals (typically dairy cows) that present with one or more mammary glands (udder) with infection. The affected tissue is devitalized (dead fragile tissue with a risk of blood vessel rupture). Gangrene can lead to a generalized or systemic illness and pain. Animals with this condition are defined as unfit to be transported. (Pis gangréneux)



AA hernia is a hole in the abdominal or thoracic wall. Tissue and/or organs can pass through this opening into an out pocketing of the skin. The contents of a hernia can become trapped and deprived of adequate blood supply causing a painful condition. Hernias vary in size and severity and can change over time. Transportation is likely to cause suffering that could be avoided if the animal was at rest. These animals are at risk of infection and tissue death; they have difficulty moving, loading, unloading and avoiding other animals.

  • Hernia (large) (an unfit condition)

    An animal with a large hernia is unfit for transport and must not be loaded. A hernia is considered as "large" if it:

    • affects the way an animal walks (for example, hind leg of the animal touches the hernia when the animal is walking)
    • causes the animal to exhibit signs of pain or suffering
    • touches the ground and is subject to damage when standing
    • has an area of open wound, ulceration, necrosis and/or infection
  • Hernia – other than hernias considered an unfit condition

    Animals with hernias that don't lead them to exhibit signs of pain, that are not ulcerated, pendulous and do not impact mobility can be transported. Some will be considered compromised animals and will need to be transported with special provisions. Some can be transported as fit animals provided there is appropriate monitoring.

    Assessing risk factors associated with hernias that do not meet the definition of "unfit":

    • Does the hernia in question make the animal less able to withstand the stress of transport? In other words,: is the animal considered compromised and need to be transported with special measures?

    Monitoring of animals with hernias that do not meet the definition of "unfit" in transport:

    Animals with hernias (that can be transported) require increased monitoring for worsening of their condition during the journey. Remember that:

    • an animal's fitness for transport can deteriorate over time
    • contingency planning should include actions to take if the ability of the animals with hernias to withstand transport changes en route

    *Specific guidance for assessing market pigs with a hernia (other than unfit)*

    Market pigs are the most common group of animals transported with hernias. Pigs with hernias, other than hernias considered as unfit, can be transported as compromised animals or be considered for routine transport depending on the result of their assessment.

    • Market hog umbilical hernia characteristics rendering a pig compromised:
      • the hernia does not meet the criteria of "unfit"
      • the hernia is larger than 15 cm in diameter (think of the size of a medium grapefruit for assessing the dimension) and is pendulous (in other words, it swings while the animal walks)

        These animals should be considered compromised and:

        • be transported with special measures, and
        • monitored in a manner and frequency that protect their well-being
    • Market hog umbilical hernia small enough to be considered "for routine transport":

      An animal with a hernia that is less than 15 cm in diameter at its largest point and not pendulous (does not swing when the animal walks) could be transported without special measures.

      Assessing the size of the outpouching:

      • market pigs with umbilical hernias measuring less than 15 cm in diameter at the following places: (a) at the ventral body wall, (b) at the center of the hernia and (c) its longitudinal diameter (c), can potentially be transported.

Figure 1. How to determine the size of a hernia (or compare to the size of a medium grapefruit)

Source: Schild, S.A. et al. 2015. Do umbilical outpouchings affect the behaviour or clinical condition of pigs during 6 h housing in a pre-transport pick-up facility? Research in Veterinary Science. 101:126-131

How to determine the size of an hernia. Description follows.
Description of image – How to determine the size of an hernia

The image shows how to determine the size of a hernia by measuring it at

  1. the ventral body wall
  2. at the center of the hernia
  3. at its longitudinal diameter
  4. shoulder height


Hobbled (to aid in treatment of an injury) (an unfit condition)

Hobbles can be used to prevent splaying or to restrict stride length linked to hip or pelvic issues, or other gait related conditions.

If hobbles are used in this way, the animal is to be considered unfit to load and transport because they restrict an animal's ability to balance and navigate ramps and chutes. The HAR prohibits the loading of a non-ambulatory animal unless a veterinarian recommends that the animal be transported to receive veterinary care and that measures are taken to prevent the animal's unnecessary suffering, injury or death. This applies to acutely "split" animals. (Entravé (pour aider au traitement d'une blessure))

Hobbled (not for treatment of an injury) (a compromised condition)

Hobbles, when not used in treatment, are most often used to prevent kicking during milking and to protect handlers and other animals. Hobbles used for this purpose can restrict an animal's ability to balance and navigate chutes and ramps and as such, render the animal compromised. In cases where hobbles or other devices have been placed on an animal for handler safety, they should be removed before the animal is transported. (Entravé (autre qu'une entrave pour aider au traitement d'une blessure))

Hoof blocks (either a compromised or unfit condition)

Hoof blocks are sometimes used as a therapy for conditions that require corrective hoof trimming in dairy animals. Animals with hoof blocks will have a degree of lameness and therefore transport will likely cause them avoidable suffering. Inspectors should evaluate these cases carefully before deciding whether the animals should have been loaded for transport or not. (Talonnettes)

Humanely kill*

Defined in Part XII of the HAR, s.136 (1) as: to kill as rapidly as possible with the least possible pain, suffering, fear and anxiety and includes to slaughter in accordance with applicable legislation.

Guidance: animals found to be suffering prior to or during transport must receive care, or be humanely killed. Humane killing must be done:

  • by a trained and competent person
  • using accepted methods for the species
  • using equipment that is accessible, and well maintained
  • rapidly and efficiently
  • with the least possible pain, suffering, fear and anxiety to the animal

Death must be verified.

See species specific NFACC Codes of practice. (Tuer sans cruauté)



Isolation is used in two different sections of the regulations.

In section 140, Compromised Animals, there is a requirement for a compromised animal to be isolated. This means the physical separation of the compromised animal from all the others. The animal is to be separated from the others to ensure its safety. Some herd animals may become stressed when confined alone. There is an exception in section 140(3) in the regulations where a compromised animal may be transported with one other familiar animal as long as it is not likely to cause either animal suffering. The other option to consider is isolating the compromised animal in a way that it can see other animals.

In section 149, Isolation, there is a requirement to isolate incompatible animals. This means protecting animals in transport by selecting and confining animals together that are compatible for transport. Predictably incompatible animals are to be segregated or separated from each other to minimize the potential for injury, suffering or death of an animal due to aggression, trauma, social dominance, or other forms of harm. This could be one animal separated from the rest or two groups of incompatible animals separated from one another. Example includes, but are not limited to, animals or group of animals of different sizes, sexes, reproductive status, species, etc.

Producers will know their animals best; the regulations are outcome based in this section to ensure the best decision is made.


Labored breathing (an unfit condition)

Labored breathing happens when there is decreased oxygen perfusion to tissue and there is increased reparatory effort. Causes of labored breathing can include infection (bacterial, viral, fungal), respiratory diseases and other systemic illnesses.

Conditions that result in excessive respiratory effort can lead animals to experience discomfort, fatigue, lack of exercise tolerance, and panic in response to oxygen deficits.

During transport (and other periods of stress), animals have an increased demand for oxygen and therefore need a healthy and efficient respiratory system in order to meet that demand. Animals that are fighting for air to carry out normal functions are unfit for transport. They must not be loaded unless under veterinary direction for veterinary care only.


Labored breathing is different than panting. Animals usually pant to get rid of body heat (via evaporation of water from the respiratory tract) and in some cases as the result of anxiety.


  • faster inhalations and exhalations but without significant additional effort.
  • louder than usual inhalations

Laboured breathing

  • animal struggles to draw air into their lungs and/or force air out of their lungs (in other words, they exhibit increased inspiratory or expiratory effort)
  • often accompanied by audible breath sounds which may be moist, rasping or wheezes

(Respiration laborieuse)

Lame in one or more limbs to the extent that it exhibits signs of pain or suffering and halted movements or a reluctance to walk (an unfit condition)

Most animals exhibit lameness due to pain. When a reluctance to walk is coupled with signs of pain or suffering with attempts to walk, the animal is unfit for transport.

Responses to movement in transport, jostling, prolonged standing and attempts to maintain stability are likely to cause additional pain and avoidable suffering.


Occasionally animals may demonstrate a reluctance to walk due to:

  • behavioural issues (they are frightened or nervous)
  • mechanical reasons (in other words, one leg is a different length or due to a previously healed injury that altered their anatomy)
  • temporary stiffness after maintaining a body position for some time

Observe animals over time to evaluate the cause of reluctance to walk. Knowledge and judgment will be needed to assess each case. (Boite d'un ou plusieurs membres au point ou l'animal exhibe des signes de douleur ou de souffrance et des mouvements saccadés ou une hésitation à marcher)

Lameness (non-weight bearing) (an unfit condition)

Lameness is so severe that it stops an animal from placing any weight on a limb (or limbs).

Conditions that cause animals to be unable to bear weight on a limb often involve tissue inflammation, pain, lack of coordination and an inability to keep up with other fit animals. Loading, transport and trying to maintain stability will likely cause additional suffering. These animals are considered unfit for transport.


Animals with a slight limp at unloading may be stiff. The limb may or may not be painful. Inspectors will monitor the animal's movement over time to determine if a limp is sustained and caused by a condition that existed prior to loading. (Boiterie (incapable de marcher sur tous ses membres)).

Lame in any way that is not unfit (a compromised condition)

If an animal has a gait abnormality but does not meet the requirements for "unfit" (pain or discomfort with lameness), the animal is then defined as "compromised".

These animals can only be transported for a maximum of 12 hours and only with special provisions that mitigate transport related deterioration. As well, these animals must be moved as little as possible and supplied with whatever provisions are needed to maximize their welfare.

NFACC Codes now use lameness descriptors and rationales that reflect the HAR in their transport decision trees (for example, should this pig be loaded?).

Any lameness other than that described in unfit

Lameness described in the description of unfit includes fractures, halted movement or a reluctance to walk due to pain and suffering, or an inability to walk on all legs.

Any other obvious lameness would lead to a determination that the animal is compromised. Even a mild lameness can progress to significant lameness as animals are transported on long journeys.

On the other hand, animals can sometimes present as lame when they are not. Judgement is needed and observe animals to see if the lameness persists. (Boite d'une façon qui n'est pas visée à la définition d'inapte)

Last 10% of gestation or has given birth within the preceding 48 hours (an unfit condition)

Giving birth during transport puts both the dam and offspring at risk. Heavily pregnant animals should not be loaded or transported except under exceptional circumstances. Animals with engorged udders and slackening of the pelvic ligament should not be loaded.

Intent: animal welfare is protected by preventing transport during a period when they are more vulnerable to prolapse or are likely to give birth during the trip, which is a welfare problem for dam and offspring.

Measuring and predicting parturition (and its various stages) is not precise, there is variation among and between animals. These situations must be evaluated in context on a case by case basis. Judgement, knowledge and experience is required. If transportation is in the interest of the welfare of an animal in late gestation, veterinary advice is required.

Regulated parties should be aware of the following:

  • the normal length of gestation for the species being transported
  • the date of breeding or date of last exposure to a male
    • if a specific date is known, this can provide a rough estimate of pregnancy
    • if the exposure to the male was over a range of dates (as occurs in pasture breeding), the earliest date in that range should be used to estimate pregnancy
  • the signs of impending birth for the species of interest, especially if the date of breeding is unknown
  • neonatal (newly born) animal developmental markers for cases where the birth was not witnessed or animals are not routinely monitored

Animals that are being transported to agricultural exhibits to display the birth process and/or newly born animals are not exempted from this requirement. Careful planning is required for parties to remain in compliance.

When the service dates or the date of last exposure to a male are not known, examination by a veterinarian is recommended. (En est au dernier 10 % de sa période de gestation ou a donné naissance au cours des 48 dernières heures)

Loading Density

Loading density is the amount of space given to each animal per unit of space on a conveyance. It should be proportional to the animal's size, its condition and the weather conditions (temperature and humidity) at the time of transport.

Loading density is expressed as m2 or ft2 per animal; or as animal weight per unit area of a conveyance kg/m2 or lb/ft2.

The maximum number of animals is calculated by dividing the total floor space of the conveyance by the minimum space recommended per animal.

Floor Space ÷ Min. Space per animal = Max. # of animals.

See the NFACC Codes of Practice for more information and guidance about appropriate loading densities for various farmed species. (Densité de chargement)

Loading/Unloading times*

Defined in Part XII of the HAR, s. 136(1) as:

Loading begins when the first animal is handled with the intent of placing it in a conveyance for the purposes of transport, or in the case of crated animals, with the intent of placing it into a container for the purposes of transport.

Loading animals ends when the last animal to be transported in a load is placed on the conveyance, or in the case of animals transported in containers, when the last container is placed on the conveyance.

Unloading of animals begins when the first animal is handled with the intent of removing it from the conveyance and ends when the last animal is no longer on the conveyance or any unloading apparatus used (for example, ramp). In the case of crated animals (for example, poultry, rabbits), unloading begins when the container is handled with the intent of removing it from the conveyance and ends when the last animal is removed from the container.

When loads of crated animals are held in lairage (holding) prior to slaughter, they remain under the provision of Part XII of the HAR until:

  • the last animal is removed from the crate or container for stunning
  • the crate or container enters the charged stunning chamber

(Embarquement et débarquement)


Multi-level trailer

A multi-level trailer is a trailer with more than one level or deck used to transport animals on land. Animals within these trailers are contained within decks that are stacked one above the other. A double-deck trailer has 2 levels, one upper and one lower. A triple-deck has 3 levels. (Remorque multi-niveaux)


Natural position (at rest)

An animal's "natural (at rest) position" for transport is one where they are alert, but quiet. For most breeds, this means being able to stand with all 4 feet on the ground or in the position they prefer to travel in (for instance, poultry sit). It does not refer to sporadic behaviours related to excitement, agitation or restlessness where incidental light contact may occur during the acclimatization to novel surroundings or reacting to a sudden stimulus. (Position naturelle (au repos))

Nearest place

In the context of the regulations, "the nearest place" is defined as the closest suitable facility to the location where an animal is assessed as being compromised or unfit (either before loading or en route). This place must be suitable for the type of animal being transported and its condition. It must have adequate facilities for safe unloading, holding, loading and the competent human resources available to provide care (treatment or humane killing) required by the condition of the animal without compromising the biosecurity in place for both the establishment and the conveyance. Therefore, the nearest suitable place may not always be the closest geographically. Many factors have to be accounted for when determining where the nearest suitable place is, and the focus shall always be on limiting animal suffering. Enforcement measures will be taken based on what the regulated party did, or did not do, to contribute to or reduce animal suffering.

It is recommended that you include a list of accessible nearest place's in your contingency plan. (Lieu le plus proche)

Non-ambulatory (downer) (an unfit condition)

Downer animals are those that are unable or unwilling to rise, remain standing or walk unassisted. An animal that cannot rise, remain standing, or walk unassisted cannot be loaded. This category includes animals with ruptured pre-pubic tendons ("split" animals) and animals that need hobbles to assist in the healing of injuries or to prevent further injury.

If the animal becomes non-ambulatory while in transit, the transporter must take actions as soon as possible to prevent furthered suffering. (Non ambulatoire (à terre))

Not fully healed after a procedure, including dehorning, detusking or castration (either a compromised or unfit condition)

Animals that have recently had surgery are at risk of the incision site re-opening for some time following the surgery. A sealed, but not healed incision is at risk of splitting if the animal is jostled about or bumped. The presence or absence of sutures does not determine whether or not the wound is healed. These animals are defined either as unfit or compromised.

Animals that are hot branded immediately before transport will not be fully healed after the procedure. In spite of this, animals can be hot branded prior to transport where:

  • it is an export requirement to protect animal health and public health,
  • animals are branded according to recognized best practice standards (NFACC Code of practice for beef), and
  • there are no complications of branding, or other existing conditions that result in the animal being assessed as unfit or compromised for transport.

Each situation is different, the animal in question must be assessed prior to transport. Knowledge and experience are required. If you are unsure, you are advised to seek the opinion of a private veterinarian transporting the animal or assume the animal is unfit.

(Animal qui n'est pas complètement guéri après une intervention, notamment un écornage, un enlèvement des défenses ou une castration).

Nutritional deficit*

Defined in Part XII of the HAR, s. 136(1) as: one where the deprivation of nutrients has caused the animal to suffer from related behavioural or physiological effects.

Guidance: animals with nutritional deficit may show some or all of these signs

  • excessive vocalizing
  • feed seeking behaviour
  • ingestion of non-feed material
  • physical weakness

Physiological signs of nutritional deficit include low blood sugar, stress related blood chemistry changes, empty rumen, dehydration as indicated on packed cell volume (PCV). Testing may be required to establish that a deficit exists and that it is related to transportation. Regulated parties are required:

  • to have the knowledge and training to make appropriate decisions regarding access to feed
  • be aware of the varying requirements for animals based on their age, growth rate, pregnancy, and lactation status (for example, cattle require roughly 2.5% of their bodyweight per day on a dry matter basis)
  • to feed mixtures containing sufficient digestible energy, protein and minerals for different ages, classes of animals, and stage of production
  • to adjust the amount of food supplied based on the quality and digestibility of the ration (quality matters)

(Déficit nutritionnel)



Pain is assessed based on behaviours observed in animals. Signs of pain in mammals can include, but are not limited to the following:

  • vocalization
  • holding limbs up while walking (not bearing weight on a limb)
  • frequently changing stance
  • hesitation to move /reluctance to walk
  • arched backed
  • facial grimace
  • drooping ears
  • unusual fear or aggression

In poultry, signs of pain can include, but are not limited to the following:

  • a crouched down posture (not able to move about)
  • ruffled feathers
  • head drooping down
  • eyelids closed or half closed
  • sitting, standing or lying with the head and neck twisted

Pain is not always obvious: prey species (for example, cows, horses, goats, sheep, pigs, poultry, rabbits) will try to hide their pain as it would be evolutionarily detrimental for them to exhibit signs of pain when in the presence of predators (for example, people). (Douleur)

Peak Lactation (a compromised condition)

Peak lactation, for the purposes of Part XII of the HAR, refers to a period where there is a likelihood that an animal's udder may become painfully engorged if not milked with regularity. While this condition may affect dairy cattle most often, this provision applies to all species.

The intended outcome of this regulation is to reduce animal suffering and steps are taken to prevent animals that are producing large amounts of milk during the transport process from having engorged and painful udders.

To comply with this outcome based regulation, lactating animals must be milked sufficiently to prevent mammary engorgement or not shipped until their milk production has decreased and the risk of suffering is reduced. (Au plus fort d'une période de lactation)

Penis injury (unhealed) (a compromised condition)

Reproductive injuries can happen during mating or by fighting. These are painful injuries and animals with them will suffer additional pain in the process of transport. They are compromised and need special provisions during transport. (Blessure au pénis (non guérie))

Percentage of dead on arrival (DOA) animals

There is no percentage of DOA animals that are by definition "acceptable". For example, there could be a small number of birds on a load that die due to exposure to the elements from one corner of a tarp being damaged. Those deaths are not considered to be "acceptable" based on the argument that very few animals were affected. Damaged equipment is a predictable and preventable risk. If the regulated party did not take practical steps to prevent animal suffering, the outcome will be evaluated accordingly.

An elevated number of animals dead on arrival is one sign that can suggest there may be a problem, it is not the only sign that there are problems with humane animal transport. Situations with very low numbers of DOA can also be unacceptable.

At one time, there were numbers published as a guide to use for when to take enforcement action in the case of elevated DOA animals.

This led to unintended confusion and 2 misinterpretations:

  • that every load with over a certain percentage DOA is by definition, non-compliant, (this is not the case)
  • that there is an "acceptable" level of deaths in transport for some species, (this is not the case)

    (Pourcentage d'animaux morts à l'arrivée)

Persons involved in the transport of animals

As per HAR s. 138, "persons involved in the transport of animals" is any person who loads, confines or transports an animal in, or unloads an animal from a conveyance or container. They must have the necessary knowledge and skills to conduct those activities in compliance with the regulations. This includes but is not limited to the following people:

  • animal owners
  • producers
  • buyers
  • exporters
  • importers
  • transporters
  • animal handlers at assembly yards and slaughter facilities
  • catchers (birds in crates)
  • people who work at assembly centres (auction markets, assembly yards, independent holding facilities associated with slaughter establishments)
  • people who work at feed, water and rest stations/locations

Those who are involved in animal transport, but do not directly handle animals on vehicles, such as dispatchers, processors and emergency personnel must also be aware of an animal's needs in order to adequately assess their fitness for transport and when planning or responding to animal transport issues. (Personnes qui participent au transport des animaux)

Prolapse (uterus, rectal or vaginal) – severe (an unfit condition)

When tissue from the uterus, rectum or vagina are located outside of the body of the animal.

Prolapses result in damage and inflammation to the affected tissue, mostly due to a lack of adequate blood flow. This leads to an increased susceptibility to infection and pain.

While a minor vaginal or rectal prolapse is sufficient to consider an animal as compromised, any uterine prolapse (for example, fallen calf bed) where the uterus can be seen inverted and outside of the body of the animal, is to be considered unfit for transport.

Similarly a prolapse of the rectum or vaginal tissues renders an animal unfit for transport if prolapsed tissue is very swollen, inflamed or traumatized, or where both the rectum and the vagina are prolapsed and significantly swollen, or when inability to urinate has led to imminent rupture of the bladder.

Transport of animals with these conditions will likely cause additional tissue damage, pain and injury, and so it i s not allowed. Loading an animal with a severe prolapse is not allowed unless under veterinary direction and then only for veterinary care. (Prolapsus (utérin, rectal ou vaginal) – grave)

Prolapse (uterus, rectal or vaginal) – minor (either a compromised or unfit condition)

These tissues can be slightly prolapsed and can appear more or less normal to the untrained eye however, any minor prolapse of either part of an animal renders the animal compromised. Further prolapse and deterioration of the tissue due to being dehydrated, irritated and inflamed can occur as the animal strains due to discomfort and normal attempts at elimination. In severe cases, where the prolapsed tissue is very swollen, inflamed or traumatized, or where both the rectum and the vagina are prolapsed and significantly swollen, or when inability to urinate has led to imminent rupture of the bladder, suffering may preclude any transportation and render the animal unfit for transport. Major prolapses leading to animal suffering will render the animal unfit as per section 136 (1) unfit (f) or (w).

Animals with a minor or treated prolapse (where the prolapse has been "reduced"/ fixed, can be defined as compromised.

Caution: minor prolapses can rapidly become severe, thus frequent monitoring and preventive measures are required if transport is undertaken.

Animals with a reduced vaginal prolapse can be marketed for slaughter. These animals should be classified and handled as compromised animals. (Prolapsus (utérin, rectal ou vaginal) – mineur)


Rest stop requirements

Rest stop requirements are defined in s. 152.3. Briefly: they must be clean and have adequate space for all animals to lie down at the same time, have secure footing, adequate ventilation, protection from the elements, have clean bedding, and ready access to feed and safe water. (Exigences liées aux stations de repos)

Risk factors that may cause or lead to injury (assessment of)

Factors that can reasonably be viewed as having an impact on the ability of animal to respond to the challenges of transport are defined in the regulation (s. 138.3). They include:

  • the current condition of the animal
  • any pre-existing infirmity, illness, injury or condition of the animal
  • the space requirements for the animal
  • the compatibility of the animal with any other animal
  • animal handling and restraint methods
  • he expected time that the animal will be without feed, safe water and rest
  • the expected duration of the transport and confinement of the animal in the conveyance or container
  • the foreseeable delays during transport and at the destination
  • the foreseeable weather conditions during transport
  • the foreseeable conditions that may be encountered during transport that could result in sharp inclines and declines, vibration and shifting of the container or swaying of the conveyance
  • the type and condition of the conveyance, container and equipment

For guidance, consider the following:

  1. Condition/fitness of the animal

    Pre-existing infirmity, illness or injury will affect the condition/fitness of the animal (animals that have been culled from a herd or shipped for age or health reasons will be less able to withstand transport). The following must be considered prior to transport:

    • selection/preparation of animals prior to loading
    • how they are prepared/handled at loading
    • hunger, thirst and/or rest status prior to loading
    • animals that have been unwell and off feed for some time before transport will be more fragile
  2. The driver
    • skill (driving smoothly, avoiding sharp turns, jarring movements)
    • training/experience
    • knowledge of best practice
    • preparation
    • alertness (is the driver rested)
    • distraction
  3. The conveyance
    • is it designed to promote animal welfare?
    • condition of the equipment (for example, are the tarps all functional and in good condition, ventilation, no sharp edges, floors not slippery)
    • maintenance of vehicles (for example, are the tires and brakes in good condition, maintenance up to date)
  4. Weather and road conditions
    • contingency plans should include information regarding weather
    • drivers should check the forecast for the duration of the trip and make plans accordingly
    • severe weather conditions: rain, snow (animals should be kept dry during transport)
    • wind direction
    • wind chill
    • weather change – weather can change dramatically during a trip and appropriate action must be taken (animals transported form BC to SK could go through 3 "seasons" and require multiple different tarp/board configurations)
    • humidity (animals transported on a hot day with high humidity should be assessed more frequently than animals of the same health status and conveyance conditions on a temperate day)
    • sharp inclines, declines, vibration, shifting or swaying
    • tight corners, sudden stops (animal load can shift making driving difficult)
  5. Time in transit
    • the expected duration of animal confinement and transport (how long will animals remain in the conveyance)
    • how long will they be without access to feed, water and rest (including all planned driver rest periods and breaks)
    • foreseeable delays during confinement, transport or at destination (for example, mechanical breakdown en route, road work, road closures and delays at the slaughter plant can all cause animals to remain on a conveyance longer than planned. While these delays are out of the transporters control, they are required by law to make provision for animals to reduce the impact on their welfare.)

(Facteurs de risque susceptibles de causer ou d'entraîner une blessure (évaluation des))


Safe water*

Defined in Part XII of the HAR, s. 136 (1) as: potable water or water that does not pose a risk to the health of the animal drinking it.

Guidance: this means clean water, that is accessible to animals in a form that is not frozen, through a delivery system that they are familiar with. Also, safe drinking water for animals does not compromise food safety for humans. (Eau salubre)

Severe cancer eye (squamous cell carcinoma of the eye) (an unfit condition)

Squamous cell carcinoma of the eye is a condition where the eye is has a cancerous mass on or around it. "Cancer eyes" vary in size and severity and will likely increase in size over time. Animals with severe cancer eye are unfit for transport. A severe squamous cell carcinoma is often infected, and:

  • has necrotic tissue (dead tissue)
  • has purulent discharge (pus)
  • has a foul odour

See the NFACC beef code of practice for more information about the management of cancer eye in cattle. More specifically, the animal health section which speaks to managing sick, injured or cull animals, as well as the transport chapter which speaks to the fitness of cattle. (Grave cancer de l'œil (carcinome spinocellulaire de l'œil))

Severe open wound (an unfit condition)

A wound or laceration is considered severe if the animal is showing signs of pain. These lesions involve tissue damage and inflammation; animals affected may be at a risk of infection and/or blood loss.

If uncertain about wound severity, the age of a lesion or how to assess the fitness of a wounded animal for transport, a veterinarian should be consulted.

If in doubt, do not load the animal. (Plaie ouverte grave)

Signs of hyperthermia or hypothermia (an unfit condition)

Signs will vary between species. If an animal's core body temperature falls, the animal may become hypothermic.

Cold stress ( hypothermia) will cause increased use of energy substrates, depletion of glycogen reserves, muscle damage, fatigue, lethargy, and death.

If an animal's core body temperature rises, the animal may become hyperthermic. Heat stress (hyperthermia) can cause dehydration, increased use of energy substrates, depletion of glycogen reserves, altered acid base status, muscle damage, and death.

Animals are generally more tolerant of hypothermia than hyperthermia. An increase in body temperature of 5°C (hyperthermia) is almost always fatal. A decrease in body temperature of 7 or 8°C (hypothermia), while undesirable, can be followed by complete recovery.

If an animal is hypothermic or hyperthermic prior to loading, the animal is considered to be unfit for loading and transport.

If the animal becomes hypothermic or hyperthermic during transport, it is considered unfit for continued transport and must be handled as indicated in sections 139(4) or 139(5), as applicable.

Signs of cold stress include:

  • shivering
  • piloerection (adjusting the angle of body hair/feathers with skin muscles/"goose bumps")
  • huddling
  • postural changes (to reduce heat loss)
  • lassitude, lethargy and drowsiness, collapse

Signs of heat stress include:

  • panting or sweating
  • postural changes (to increase heat loss)
  • agitation, restlessness and "fear"
  • salivation
  • collapse

(Signes d'hyperthermie ou d'hypothermie)

Shock or dying (an unfit condition)

Shock is caused by reduced effective blood flow and oxygen supply to tissues. Animals that suffering from injury, illness or any sort of physical deterioration can go into shock.

Most animals in shock are lethargic and require immediate care. These animals are defined as unfit for transport and should not be loaded unless under veterinary direction (and then only for transport to receive veterinary care). (En état de choc ou mourant)

Signs of exhaustion (an unfit condition)

Signs an animal is exhausted or very fatigued include weakness, loss of balance, decreased reactivity and disinterest in their surroundings.

Animals that have been unwell or off feed for some time before transport will be more fragile. They may also be slow to exhibit signs of exhaustion as a protective mechanism (in other words, prey species may hide signs of exhaustion as a protective response). It is sometimes necessary to monitor an animal remotely during relatively quiet periods to determine if it is succumbing to fatigue. (Signes d'épuisement)

Signs of fever (an unfit condition)

A fever occurs when an animal's body temperature is higher than their normal baseline core body temperature. This is usually due to infection or inflammation. Small changes in body temperature can be caused by anxiety due to handling and loading, but a body temperature that is up, and stays up, is a concern.

Possible signs of a fever can include when an animal:

  • has a rectal temperature above the generally accepted high norm for the species
  • is hot to the touch, particularly in hairless areas
  • has a red tinge to their skin
  • is panting
  • is showing signs of generalized malaise
  • is drooling, lethargic or weak

If in doubt regarding an animal's fitness for transport because of possible fever, you are advised not to load the animal and to seek veterinary assistance. Signes de fièvre

Signs of a generalized nervous system disorder (an unfit condition)

Animals with evidence of a disorder of the brain or spinal cord, that affects more than a localized or focal body part. Signs may include:

  • poor coordination
  • a lack of balance
  • a head tilt
  • bizarre behaviours
  • seizures

Animals with these conditions are defined as unfit for transport and cannot be loaded unless under veterinary direction and then only for veterinary care.

The transport process requires that animals negotiate loading equipment and stand for long periods of time. Animals with neurologic symptoms can have poor balance, coordination and stamina. Therefore, an animal with a generalized nervous system disorder is likely to suffer additional stress/or pain if transported. (Signes d'un trouble généralisé du système nerve)

Special provisions for loading and transport

Special provisions for loading include actions taken to prevent injury, further suffering or death during animal transport. This means loading, confining, transporting and unloading the animal in a way that will minimize stress and discomfort.

"Special measures" depend on the condition and the species. See species specific NFACC Codes of practices and other resource material for more information.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • using specialized loading and unloading processes
    • last on, first off
    • no ramp climbing within the conveyance
  • providing the animals with additional bedding
  • isolating the animal from others (or in special cases placing the animals in a pen with a familiar companion animal)
  • additional climate control measures appropriate for the conditions
  • taking measures to prevent hypothermia or hyperthermia (providing heat source, or boarding up some of the ventilation holes)
  • measures to prevent dehydration
  • transporting the animal locally to the nearest place where it can receive care or be humanely killed
  • providing the animal with pain medication, applying splints if needed and/or providing other veterinary care relevant to the injury or illness

(Mesures spéciales pour l'embarquement et le transport)

Stressed hogs (also called distressed pigs or stressed pigs) (an unfit condition)

The transport process is stressful for pigs. Extremely stressed pigs are a serious welfare concern. Stressed hogs are not fit to be loaded for transport.

A pig that shows 2 or more of the following signs is unfit:

  • trembling
  • having any form of breathing difficulty (for example, open-mouth breathing, panting, or gasping)
  • patchy discolouration to the skin (for example, blotchy skin, irregular skin blanching and erythema)
  • stiffness
  • inability to move (with no other visible abnormalities)
  • elevated body temperature

Stressed hogs are in pain and at risk of dying from cardiac failure.

The required outcome is to not add further stress to an already stressed animal by additional involuntary movement or with handling which can result in death.

Less severely affected hogs (where recovery is believed to be possible) can be allowed to rest to recover while being protected from continued stressors, including physical interaction with other hogs.

Factors that may contribute to hog stress include:

  • heavy market weight
  • lack of exercise tolerance (in other words, distances moved during loading)
  • rough handling
  • long feed withdrawal times
  • feed additives
  • steep loading ramps
  • high loading density
  • hot, humid weather

These animals have cardiac function that is compromised to the point where tissues cannot be effectively supplied with oxygen and energy. The signs of a stressed pig vary.

If animals with these conditions are identified while in transport or related confinement, regulated parties must take action as indicated in s. 139(4).


Stressed hogs include, but are not limited to those with Porcine Stress Syndrome (PSS). All PSS hogs can be stressed hogs, but not all stressed hogs have PSS. (Porcins stressés (aussi appelé porc en détresse ou porc stressé)).


Thin (extreme) (an unfit condition)

An animal defined as extremely thin for the purposes of this regulation has a lack of body fat and energy reserves. Depletion of energy reserves in extremely thin animals results in weakness, fatigue, and inability to maintain their body temperature.

This condition can result from starvation (feed is either not provided, not available, or cannot be eaten), untreated illness/injury, chronic debilitating and/or progressive illness (metabolic, infectious, parasitic or neoplastic). It takes a long time for animals to become extremely thin.

Transporters are expected to have the knowledge and training and be able to tell the difference between visibly thin (but able to tolerate the rigors of transport), and thin to the point of emaciation (which is unfit for transport).

Animals that show signs of having chronic disease and malnutrition must not be transported (for example, those that have no appetite and are not eating because they have neoplastia or cancer).

Animals that are dependent on humans for feed, water and medical care, can be extremely thin as the result of neglect or cruelty.

Animals that are "extremely thin" are likely to have a body condition score (BCS) that is the lowest on the scale (for example, a condition of BCS of 1 in the case of cattle, small ruminants and pigs. For horses, emaciation is indicated by a BCS of 0 under the Carroll and Huntington scoring system, or by a BCS of 1 under the Henneke scoring system).

Body scoring may be a useful tool for describing an animal however, the intent is to focus on the animal outcome: is the animal able to tolerate the rigors of transport for the expected duration of the trip?

For additional information, consult the NFACC Codes of practice for the specific species guidance. (Maigreur (extrême))

Training for humane transport of animals (commercial carriers)

Commercial carriers shall ensure that all employees, mandatories and agents involved in any phase of the transport of animals are trained to:

  • prevent animal suffering, injury or death
  • have the knowledge to competently conduct tasks in compliance with the regulation
  • conduct required tasks in compliance with the regulations competently
  • the regulations prescribe what must be included in minimum training

Regulated parties are encouraged to use industry led training programs and resources, and the NFACC Codes of practice and Transport code for reference. (Formation pour le transport sans cruauté des animaux (transporteurs commerciaux))

Transfer of care documents

Required when animals are left at an assembly centre or slaughter establishment (s. 153).

Written notice from the transporter that provides important information about the animal(s). The document must include the:

  • date, time and place of arrival
  • condition of the animal(s) on arrival
  • date, time when and place where the animal(s) were last fed/watered/rested

By acknowledging the transfer of care, the receiver assumes responsibility for the animal's care, including feed, water and rest provisions.

Transporters are advised to keep these documents for 2 years.

(Documents de transfert de garde)

Transport continuum

For the intent of this regulations, the transport continuum involves all aspects of the transport related activities that animals experience. It begins when feed and water are withdrawn and may include when access to rest is no longer available prior to mustering. This includes mustering for loading, confinement during the pre-transport, loading, transport and post-unloading periods, and also includes the time up until the animal is provided with access to feed, water and rest after it is unloaded.

The transport continuum begins when the first animal is handled, or actions are taken to prepare it for the purposes of transport.

The transport continuum ends when the animal has been unloaded as per section 136(2) and has been provided with feed, water and rest. (Processus de transport)


Unnecessary or avoidable suffering, injury or death (in transport)

Some degree of stress is normal and inevitable in the transport process. Unnecessary suffering is suffering which is over and above the stress that is going to occur in spite of appropriate handling during normal transportation of a healthy animal.

Every situation will be different. The answers to these questions will help decide if "suffering" is due to transport:

  • is it caused by aspects of the transportation process
  • is it exacerbated (made worse) by the transportation process
  • could it have been prevented by actions taken prior to transport
  • is the suffering for a net animal welfare benefit (for example, transporting a dog with a fractured leg to a veterinarian for treatment)

Necessary or unavoidable suffering occurs after all reasonable measures and decisions to alleviate suffering, and minimize additional suffering, have been taken. (pendant le transport)

Unhealed or infected navel (an unfit condition)

A baby mammal with an umbilical cord attachment site (navel) that is healing normally, and is dry, can be transported as per s. 141 and 143.

Navels can take a long time to heal ("prolonged healing"). This can happen with (or without) infection. The longer a navel takes to heal, the greater the chance it will become infected.

A navel with prolonged healing or an infected navel:

  • is usually moist and pink/red
  • may have a foul odor
  • can be painful (or not painful)

If you are unsure if an animal's navel is healing normally, you are advised to seek the opinion of a licensed veterinarian. (Nombril non cicatrisé ou infecté)

Unfit animal*

Defined in Part XII of the HAR, s. 136 (1) as: an unfit animal is one that is sick, injured, disabled, or fatigued, and that cannot be transported without causing or aggravating suffering.

S. 136 (1) HAR lists common conditions that define an animal as unfit for transport. Unfit animals identified prior to loading must not be loaded (see regulations s. 139, 139.1, 139.2).

Animals that become unfit during the course of transport must be handled in a way that prevents additional suffering (s. 139(4) and 139(5)), and transported only with the advice of a veterinarian for diagnosis, care or euthanasia and then only if adequate measures are taken to prevent any additional unnecessary suffering. (Animal inapte)



A means of conveyance used for transportation of animals including trucks, trailers, railway cars, ships and aircraft.


Wet Bird (s) (a compromised condition)

A bird that is wet to the skin, unless they can be dried prior to transport. Wet broilers, for example, experience a drop in body temperature of 14°C within 3 hours, if exposed to a temperature of –4°C and air movement of 0.7 m/s (see hypothermia).

During cool and cold conditions, appropriate procedures are needed at the farm, if birds are wet, to prevent hypothermia during transport (for example, add litter to wet spots in the barn, fence off wet spots, adjust ventilation, etc.). (Oiseau mouillé)

Written acknowledgement/notice/transfer

The format of documentation can be written, text, email, or other form that is unalterable (for legal purposes) which can be:

  • retrieved, and provided when requested by an inspector, and
  • kept for a period of no less than 2 years (HAR s. 91.3).

Transfer of care for an animal can occur without the receiver being physically present (for example, electronically), that said, the receiver must be aware that they are accepting full responsibility for the care of the animal(s) including any transport related issues that may not have been reported. (Accusé de réception, avis et transfert de garde écrits)

Appendix 2 – Example contingency plan template

A contingency plan can be verbal or written. Where a non-compliance is identified due to an unforeseen occurrence, such as an accident or road closure, a clear contingency plan may be requested to verify compliance with the HAR. Failure to have a contingency plan is a violation of section 138.2 of the HAR. The plan can be in a number of formats but a written plan will allow for ready access and quick response time.

Provided below is a list of factors to consider when creating a contingency plan and an example of emergency contacts and links to put in a contingency plan (Form 1). As well, an example of a transportation event where a contingency plan would be used is provided (Form 2). These templates may be useful in full or in part depending on type of transporter. The regulated party is not under any obligation to use these. The specific needs of each transporter and load will need to be considered in the design and content of each unique contingency plan.

The NFACC Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Dairy Cattle also contains a template for consideration (refer to Dairy code – Appendix I).

Form 1. Example animal transport contingency plan development template

A contingency plan can take many forms. It is vital that animal transport companies keep animal welfare top of mind and keep their cargo moving in the face of obstacles and challenges. Being prepared with clear contingency plans and communication strategies will safeguard the animals in your care and help your organization remain agile during unforeseen challenges. An effective game plan helps you take care of your team, the animals in your care and your clients, with minimal disruption.

Photo - Form 1. Example animal transport contingency plan development template. Description follows.
Text version

Legend – steps taken to work through your contingency plan:
Red octagon = stop when a humane transport issue arises
Green rectangle with red outline = take action to address the humane transport issue
Green rectangles = assess the situation and engage your contingency plan (actively doing something to monitor/resolve issue)
Blue diamond = keep all those involved informed (everyone who needs to be in the communication loop)

Company Name (s) space

Address of the company: space

Driver has been briefed on the contingency plan YES Box NO Box

Driver humane transport training Box

Type space

Expiry date space

GOAL STATEMENT (this is an example, customize to reflect your companies contingency planning goals): Take action to protect animals from suffering , injury and death in the event of emergency or change in plans. Human safety and animal welfare are our highest priority.

Communication plan:

Who must be contacted when a situation is identified?

Who will activate the required contingency procedures?

Expected preparation process – What carriers should do prior to loading of animals

Select only healthy animals that are fit for transport, document unusual situations and the actions that you took to protect animal welfare.

Standard animal monitoring process_ en route (this will vary with species, class of animal , length and type of transport, weather, other risk factors – adjust as needed for your organization).

Potential hazards/ events/ challenges or deviations:

Carriers should be familiar with what actions they are expected to take if they encounter these situations, possible disruptions or challenges. The list for each company will vary, this is a suggestion. Adjust as required to suit your organization.

Potential carrier actions to ensure human and animal safety – These are examples of possible actions to consider in response to challenges that may be encountered. The appropriate decisions and actions taken in any given situation will vary depending on the nature of the disruption and the circumstance. Choose only those that are appropriate.

Example contingency plan: emergency contacts/ services providers and links (can send with driver)

Producer / source emergency contact

Receiver / consignee contacts (and emergency contacts)

Company emergency contacts:

Crisis contact numbers to consider including in your contingency planning:

Industry related links and websites to consider including in your contingency planning

Form 2. Example contingency plan event documentation form: a blank copy could be provided to carriers to document their actions when a contingency plan is activated

GOAL STATEMENT (this is an example, customize to reflect your companies contingency planning goals): Take action to protect animals from suffering, injury and death in the event of emergency or change in plans. Human safety and animal welfare are our highest priority

Photo - Form 2. Example contingency plan event documentation form: a blank copy could be provided to carriers to document their actions when a contingency plan is activated. Description follows.
Text version

Legend – steps taken to work through your contingency plan:
Red octagon = stop when a humane transport issue arises
Green rectangle with red outline = take action to address the humane transport issue
Green rectangles = assess the situation and engage your contingency plan (actively doing something to monitor/resolve issue)
Blue diamond = keep all those involved informed (everyone who needs to be in the communication loop)

Company name and contact details

Date space

Driver briefed on the contingency plan YES Box NO Box

Producer (or animal source) emergency contacts2

Receiver/ consignee emergency contacts

Tranport challenge/ irregularity / deviation identified by carrier

Animal welfare related actions taken by carrier

Carrier's communication activities: refer to contact lists

Who was contacted/informed?
Contact made by:


  • Radio to dispatch
  • Text
  • Automated system
  • Email
  • Telephone

It can be helpful to (briefly) document your understanding of decisions that were made or instructions that were given to you.

Load information (OR attach copy to Animal Transport Record already in place or file number)

1. Preloading assessment of load:

All animals were fit for transport YES Box NO Box if no, fill out section below or attach copy of Animal Transport Record (or file number)

2. Routine Animal Monitoring procedures followed during transport process:

All animal OK YES Box NO Box if no, fill out section below OR attach copy of Animal Transport Records (or file number)

Time space Location space

Document the transport deviation or challenge identified, include: Description of event, contingency actions you took to prevent additional animal suffering, identification of animals involved, who you informed/consulted and/or any additional concerns or comments you have:

Appendix 3 – Pre-transport screening and monitoring of animals


This procedure is provided as a starting point/guideline for the convenience of regulated parties who choose to use it.

Assessment and monitoring of animals

Assess animals prior to transport to identify animals/flocks that show signs of being affected with a disease or condition that could prevent their transport or make special handling for welfare reasons necessary.

Review required documentation

Detecting animals with noticeable abnormalities

Record your findings on the animal transport record and any notes.

Signs/ types of abnormalities to look for

To identify what is not normal, transporters must be able to recognize what is normal for the species and type of animals they are working with (steers vs fat cattle, market vs cull animals).

With experience and knowledge, you will be able to judge conditions that deviate from normal and could impact transport.

Some abnormalities have only minor significance (for example, as cow with an extra teat, a hog with no tail, minor cuts). These don't need to be segregated to meet the intent of the HAR. If in doubt, discuss with your supervisor, a licensed veterinarian or a transport mentor.

Abnormalities in breathing usually refers to frequency of respiration but there are also other abnormalities such as frequent coughing and difficulty in breathing. Examples of abnormal breathing are:

If the breathing pattern differs from normal, the animal should be carefully evaluated to determine if transport will have an impact on the animals welfare and what steps need to be taken.

Abnormalities in behaviour can be significant in some very serious diseases such as rabies and lead poisoning. Examples are, an animal:

Caution: animals that behave in an abnormal way should be segregated, carefully evaluated (contact your veterinarian to have assesses) as they may not be fit for transport. Such animals can be a danger to other animals or to humans.

Abnormalities in gait are noticed when an animal moves differently or is reluctant to move; it usually indicates there is pain somewhere. The animal may be suffering from abnormalities anywhere in its limbs or may have pain in the chest or abdomen. Abnormal gaits can also indicate nervous disorders.

Abnormalities in posture are noticed when an animal may:

Sometimes normal animals may temporarily assume postures that can be mistaken for abnormal postures for example, a cow that has rested a long time may stretch and stand with its legs out front; also, resting cattle sometimes have their head turned along their side. In normal animals, this posture disappears when the animal is stimulated.

A frequently observed abnormal posture is a "downer" which is an animal that cannot stand or can only stand for short periods. Such animals must be handled without causing undue suffering and must be rendered unconscious if moving them causes undue pain (see the handling unfit animal section of this document).

Abnormal discharges or protrusions from body openings include:

Abnormalities in appearance (conformation)

You may see many of these when working with animals. Whenever there is a change in the normal conformation of an animal, evaluate the animal carefully to determine if the condition might affect its welfare during transport. Examples are:

It can be helpful to compare both sides of the animal if one side looks unusual. Evaluate animals affected by one of these abnormalities carefully to determine if the condition might affect their welfare during transport.

Abnormal colour is generally not as important as the other abnormalities, however, it can indicate other problems. Examples are:

What should you record in your assessment?

This record shows that you did your due diligence and is a record of your compliance with the regulatory requirements of pre-transport animal assessment and monitoring. It indicates:

Appendix 4 – Example animal transport record template

Record of livestock movement

This document would need to be filled and updated each time animals are loaded, unloaded and provided with feed water and rest.

Note that you may be required to report parts of the information provided herein under other Federal and Provincial Regulations.



The shipper is the owner of the animals loaded in the vehicle (Optional) YES Box NO Box

Departure Premises Identification number (PID) and name:

PID:  space  Name:  space


Contact information in case of emergency


Driver(s) Name(s):

Province and License Plate number of the conveyance transporting the animals (including trailer):

Name and address of the transport company:

Conveyance or container last cleaned and disinfected
Date:  space  Time:  space  Place:  space

Driver has been briefed on the contingency plan YES Box NO Box

Driver has received humane transport training YES Box NO Box

Feed water and rest (add more on second sheet if necessary)

Last access to feed, water and rest (FWR) prior to loading

Date:  space  Time:  space Place:  space

If FWR was provided during transport:
Animals unloaded Box
Date:  space  Time:  space  Place:  space

Provided onboard Box

Loading of the vehicle (add more on second sheet if necessary)

Date of loading (dd/mm/yyyy):

Time of loading:

AM Box PM Box

Area – Floor or container area available to animals (m2 or ft2):

Loading density:

Animals per floor area (Kg/m2 or lbs/ft2):

Loading of a vehicle
*include diagram of the relevant vehicle so that driver can record animals per compartment

Area – Floor or container area available to animals (m2 or ft2):

Loading density (optional):

Animals per unit floor area (Kg/m2 or lbs/ft2):

Animals loaded

Animal(s) description (species, group of age, approximate weight, purpose) Quantity of animals

All animals have been determined to be fit for transport YES Box NO Box

Number of compromised animals loaded:

Compromised animal(s), identification description and measures taken:

Number and identification of animal(s) with special needs and measures taken:

Delivery information



Account identification number of the consignee in the database of the responsible administrator (Optional):

Destination and Premises Identification number (PID) and name:

PID:  space  Name:  space


Contact number in case of emergency

Date of arrival (dd/mm/yyyy):

Time of arrival: AM Box PM Box

Arrival: All animals arrived in good condition  YES Box  NO Box
(If NO, complete box on right)

Description of transport related conditions and actions taken to address prior to arrival:

Additional animal welfare concerns for the consignee to be aware of YES Box  NO Box
(If YES, complete box on right)

Shipper Acknowledgment:

Transporter Acknowledgment:

Consignee Acknowledgment:

The transfer of care from the transporter to the receiver occurs immediately upon acknowledgement of the shipment and the accompanying documentation by the receiver.

Date modified: