Frequently Asked Questions: Health of Animals Regulations

The FAQs below are meant to provide Canadians and businesses with general information about the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's regulations.

1. What is the purpose of these regulations?

The Health of Animals Regulations, under the authority of the Health of Animals Act, are intended to protect animals and animal health. They provide for the control of diseases and toxic substances that may affect terrestrial and aquatic animals or that may be transmitted by animals to persons.

2. What are the key elements of these regulations?

Part I – Segregation and Inspection of Animals: provides for the segregation, confinement, and inspection of animals for disease control purposes. It allows for the destruction of an animal that is affected, or suspected of being affected, with a communicable disease, and the disposal of its carcass.

Part I.1 – Specified Risk Material: sets out requirements for the removal and handling of specified risk material (parts of cattle that could carry a risk of transmitting Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy) from cattle carcasses.

Part II – Importation: sets out conditions for importation of animals or things in order to prevent the introduction of a disease into Canada. Requirements for the importation of germplasm and regulated animals are also prescribed.

Part III – Importation of Animal Products: outlines requirements for the importation of dairy products, eggs and egg products.

Part IV – Importation of Animal By-Products, Animal Pathogens and Other Things: provides import conditions to reduce the risk that foreign animal diseases are introduced into Canada. Requirements are prescribed for the importation of specific animal by-products, animal pathogens and other things.

Part V – Importation of Fodder: prohibits limitations to the importation of fodder from another country other than the United States.

Part VI – Importation of Packing Material, Beehives and Beeswax: prohibits the importation of packing materials, beehives and beeswax unless the shipment is accompanied by a veterinary certificate or has been disinfected under the supervision of an inspector.

Part VII – Quarantine of Imported Animals: sets out requirements for the quarantining of imported animals at quarantine ports, inspection ports and other places approved by the Minister.

Part VIII – Exportation of Animals, Animal Products and Products of Rendering Plants: prohibits the exporting out of Canada of livestock, poultry, animal embryos and animal semen unless the exporter has obtained a veterinary certificate and has complied with the requirements of the importing country. It also regulates products of a rendering plant, a fertilizer, a fertilizer supplement and animal food that contains a product of a rendering plant. In addition, it imposes requirements for rest periods for animals being exported out of Canada.

Part IX – Eradication of Diseases: authorizes the Minister to declare eradication areas for the purposes of animal disease control and to require movement permits, especially with respect to Bovine Tuberculosis and Brucellosis. Conditions with respect to the control of Pullorum Disease, and Fowl Typhoid are included. Requirements for the control of outbreaks of communicable diseases and eradication of specified diseases are provided.

Part X – General Provisions: sets out requirements for disease notification, record keeping, and quarantining. Requirements for animal markets, the marking of animals, inspection seals, and disinfection are provided. Specific conditions for samples of milk and cream from dairies are outlined. Also included are restrictions on feeding meat or meat by-products to livestock and poultry, and requirements for disposal of diseased carcasses and animal semen production centres.

Part XI – Veterinary Biologics: regulates the use of veterinary biologics. It also provides for conditions to be attached to permits for the release of veterinary biologics and their information requirements, as well as requirements for permits to import a veterinary biologic into Canada. Outlined are the requirements for the establishment and conditions of product licences. Requirements for the operation of licensed establishments are also set out. Labelling and marketing requirements for veterinary biologics are provided.

Part XII – Transportation of Animals: sets out requirements for the transportation of animals entering, leaving, or within Canada and their inspection. Specific requirements for sick, pregnant, and unfit animals are included. Conditions for loading and unloading equipment being used to transport animals, as well as prohibitions against overcrowding and requirements for segregation are provided. Requirements for the protection of animals from injury and sickness are outlined. Conditions for the containers, the protective facilities, and the ventilation of aircraft and vessel used in the transportation of animals are provided. Requirements for food and water for animals, special food for calves, and reporting on injured animals in transit are regulated in this part. Also outlined are record-keeping requirements with respect to shipments of livestock and animals. Conditions are provided for attendants and inspectors, for the protection of animals on board a vessel, for securing animals, for reserve pens, lighting, insulation, the disposal of injured animals, and the veterinary drugs to be carried on a vessel transporting animals.

Part XIII – Permits and Licences: provides requirements for permits and licences for activities relating to the marketing, disposing, exposing for sale, and transporting of animals or things affected with or suffering from, or suspected of being affected with or suffering from infectious or contagious diseases.

Part XIV – Food for Ruminants, Livestock and Poultry, Rendering Plants, Fertilizers and Fertilizer Supplements: defines "prohibited material", prohibits feeding it to ruminants, and sets out record-keeping requirements related to it. Conditions for the operation, importation and sale of products, and recall procedures for a rendering plant are outlined. Animal food and food ingredients, recall procedures, and records for animal food, fertilizers and fertilizer supplements are regulated in this part, especially with respect to prohibited material.

Part XV – Animal Identification: provides requirements for the identification of animals, including: registration of linked sites (two farms between which pigs are moved); the approval, issuance, and revocation of identification indicators (tags, chips, etc.) for animals; reporting of sales of tags; the use of tags on animals; and record-keeping and information reporting for pigs. Prohibitions relating to the moving of certain animals from a site are provided. Requirements with respect to tagging sites and the loss or application for an approved tag are outlined. Details for identification tags relating to an animal death or slaughter are provided. Export and import requirements relating to the tagging of animals are prescribed. Details respecting the maintenance of a database and other information obtained by a responsible administrator are outlined in this Part.

Part XVI – Aquatic Animals: sets out the requirements for the importation of aquatic animals. Establishment of, and requirements respecting, eradication areas with respect to the prevention of the spread of diseases of aquatic animals are outlined. This part also regulates the movement of aquatic animals and their marking, and sets out other permit, certificate and documentation requirements.

Schedule I and II: sets out quarantine and inspection ports.

Schedule III: identifies susceptible species of aquatic animals.

3. How do these regulations affect Canadian businesses?

These regulations contain provisions for the control of animal diseases and toxic substances, including diseases that may spread to humans. They impose requirements respecting the handling, transportation, and identification of livestock and other animals in Canada. They also impose requirements on businesses to maintain records and provide information for the purpose of protecting the health of Canada's livestock and other regulated animals.

4. When did these regulations come into force?

The Health of Animals Regulations came into force on January 13, 1977, under the title of the Animal Disease and Protection Regulations. On September 5, 1991, the title of the regulations was amended to Health of Animals Regulations.

5. Where can I get more information?

Please refer to the Animals section of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's website for more information.

Questions relating to the Health of Animals Regulations may be directed to an Animal Health Specialist at a CFIA Area office.

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