Protocol for the CFIA Inspection (BSE Questionnaire) for U.S. Import Permits of Animal Products and By-Products, Rendered Meals, Livestock Feed, and Finished Pet Foods, Treats and Chew

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February 28, 2014

Amendments: Changes for email addresses, and changes in Section 6.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) will inform a U.S. importer of the need to have the bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) questionnaire completed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). The U.S. importer will then send a request to the Canadian exporter, who in turn will contact the CFIA to arrange for a facility inspection. The contacts are as follow:

  1. the exporter's CFIA district office, for animal products and by-products, and pet foods; or
  2. their feed inspector, for rendered products and livestock feeds.


Animal by-product: includes blood or any of its components, bones, bristles, feathers, flesh, hair, hides, hoofs, horns, offal, skins and wool, and any product containing any of these by-products.

Pet chews: products obtained from untanned hides and skins of ungulates or other animal material for pet animals to chew. They have no nutritional value and may contain flavourings, colorants, and preservatives. They are prepared from various animal parts, such as bones, tendons, ligaments, trachea (cartilage), shanks, feet, hooves, horns, ears, snouts, offal, tails, penises (pizzles), and skins.

Pet food: commercially prepared and processed food intended for animals not defined as livestock under the Health of Animals Act and the Health of Animals Regulations that contains the necessary nutrients, vitamins, and minerals to maintain the life and growth of the animal. Pet food may be dry, semi-moist, or moist, and can be made from meat, organs, and/or animal by-products from cattle, poultry, pork, lamb, or fish.

Pet treat: a pet food, with limited nutritional value, that has been baked, extruded, or injection-moulded. It is usually made with flour, starch, and/or fibres from fruit or cereal product, mixed with greaves, meat, or meat meal. The treat may be semi-moist or dried and is used as a training aid or reward.

Raw diet including Biologically Appropriate Raw Food (BARF): a commercial, ready for retail sale diet which has not undergone any thermal treatment; the product is chilled, frozen, or quick/flash frozen.

Rendered products: include meat and bone meal, poultry meal, porcine meal, blood meal, feather meal, fish meal and fish oil.


1. The blank "Canadian Questionnaire to Determine Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) Cross-Contamination Risk and Facility Checklist" to be completed during the inspection is only available to CFIA district veterinarians.

2. The responsible CFIA official (district veterinarian or feed inspector) will schedule and perform an inspection, and complete the USDA "BSE Cross Contamination Questionnaire and Facility Checklist." However, all documents must be endorsed (with date, signature and seal) by an official, full-time, salaried veterinarian of the CFIA.

After endorsing the documents, the signing Veterinarian will then send the completed documents directly to the USDA's Animal Health and Plant Inspection Service – Veterinary Services – National Center for Import and Export (APHIS VS NCIE), by email scan at the following coordinates: and Ms. Janet Goodall.

A list of all inspected plants (with validity period) must be maintained at the district level in order to avoid re-inspection of the plants during that validity period.

3. NCIE will review the documents, and as appropriate, issue import permits that list facilities for which the documents have been received. U.S. importers will provide Canadian exporters with a copy of the import permit.

The validity period (365 days) of inspection begins from the time of endorsement by the CFIA veterinarian. Therefore the CFIA will not complete additional checklists or questionnaires for "approved" facilities during the validity period of the inspection APHIS NCIE will maintain their own tracking system in order to avoid unnecessary re-inspection requests.

If the USDA receives a new permit application or permit amendment request to add materials allowed for importation that are not listed on the current BSE documents, the USDA will inform the applicant that the CFIA will be required to update the current questionnaire by email scan. For that purpose, a new questionnaire completed with the new information at item 7 regarding animal ingredients (animal-origin ingredients, species of origin and country of origin) and endorsed by the company (owner or representative) and an official, full-time, salaried veterinarian of the CFIA will be sent to the USDA to and Ms. Janet Goodall.

4. Warehouses and/or Storage Facilities

4.1 Inspection of warehouses and/or storage facilities is not required. However, the CFIA must provide the USDA with written communication by e-mail stating specific entities that meet the criteria of being a warehouse or storage facility. The name and physical address of the facility, along with a list of suppliers/users of that facility, must be included. To qualify as a warehouse or storage facility, the establishment cannot receive or store unpackaged bulk goods (unless maintained in a separate supply chain from materials intended for export to the U.S.) and cannot perform manufacturing, processing, or repackaging which disrupts the original primary packaging of any material being received and/or stored.

4.2 All suppliers of warehouses/storage facilities must have approved BSE documents on file with the U.S. if they export directly to the U.S. or if the exported product to the U.S. contains ingredients originating from their plants.

5. Federally and Non-Federally Registered Facilities

Federally Registered and Non-Federally Registered Facilities in Canada which act as suppliers for other Canadian manufacturing establishments do not require submission of BSE documents unless one of the following is true:

5.1 the supplier also exports materials directly to the U.S.; or

5.2 the supplier provides materials to a facility whose sole activity is dispensing, packaging, and/or re-packaging.

6. Whenever updates are made to the BSE questionnaire, the USDA will send the updated version to the CFIA contacts listed below, a minimum of one month before the date that the new questionnaire enters in force, so that it can be made available to the CFIA district veterinarians prior to issuance of new permits based on the revised questionnaire.

Animal Products/By-Products including Pet Food

Dr. Faiza Aklil

Rendered Meals and Livestock Feed

Ms. Anna Lamberti
Facsimile: 613-773-7565

7. Billing for Inspections

Facility inspections for export to the USA of animal by-products, pet food, pet chews, or pet treats as well as rendered products and livestock feeds will be billed according to the CFIA Fees Notice, Part II, Item 27: $30 for each inspection (code 1483).

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