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Importing terrestrial animals to Canada

Pet imports

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has prepared basic guidelines for importing or travelling with pets.

Travellers are required, by law, to declare all plant, animal, and food items they bring into Canada. For more information visit Travellers: what you can bring into Canada.

Changes to dog imports

Commercial dogs from countries at high-risk for dog rabies are no longer permitted entry into Canada.

Import policies

The Health of Animals Act and regulations provide the legislative and regulatory authority for the animal health import program, which includes live animals, animal products and by-products, semen and embryos.

Import requirements are based on the disease status of where a shipment originated. The evaluation of a country, or a region(s) or zone(s) within a country is reviewed by the CFIA on a case-by-case basis.

Some animals and products must also meet the requirements of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).

Requesting import permits online

If you've determined that you need a permit to import animals, it can be requested through the agency's online service portal, My CFIA. By signing up for a My CFIA account, you can submit a new service request, track the status of your application and pay for the service online.

If you do not have access to My CFIA, a completed application can also be faxed or mailed to CFIA, Centre of Administration.

Advance notice needed for CFIA inspections of live animals at border ports of entry

Some animals, including livestock, require inspection by the CFIA at border ports of entry. In most cases, this inspection must be completed by a CFIA veterinarian at the first point of arrival in Canada. If a CFIA inspection is required, this is indicated in the Automated Import Reference System (AIRS). It is the importers responsibility to arrange an appointment for an inspection at least 24 hours prior to the expected arrival of the animal at the port of entry. This ensures a veterinarian is available for the inspection and minimizes delays.

For further information, please contact your local CFIA office.

Notices to industry

News Release


Additional import information

Programs and services for commercial importers

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