Criteria for Medium Security Quarantine Facilities

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April 11, 2003

Please refer to the Automated Import Reference System (AIRS) to confirm which imported animals require a medium security quarantine.

Location / Environment

  • proximity of other livestock or wildlife must be assessed on an individual case by case basis; the diseases to be considered will be those requiring animal freedom on the import permit
  • As a guideline, there should be no commercial poultry operations within one (1) km of the quarantine premises and no avian hobby farms within 400 metres of the quarantine premises.
  • all drainage and effluent should be prevented from coming into contact with any animals

Building / Facility Specifications


  • the site must be fenced to prevent the approach of wildlife, stray livestock and unauthorized persons and contain the quarantined animals should they escape from the building
  • the construction of the fence (material, single or double and height) should take into consideration the species of wildlife in the surrounding area and the time of year (e.g. snowfall)
  • gates are to be locked
  • rodent and fly control measures acceptable to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) must be exercised
  • vector control measures must be undertaken if the animals are being quarantined for a vector-borne disease (check import permit). Vector control may be modified based on the time of importation and the vector presence (season).

Feed / Water

  • the building must have a source of clean water, adequate for the consumption of the animals to be quarantined and any necessary cleaning and disinfection
  • the water must be suitable for human consumption
  • it is recommended that there be sufficient space available to store all feed required for the entire quarantine period
  • feed must be stored in an enclosure that prevents access by animals

Waste Handling / Disposal

  • manure, urine, used bedding must be housed indoors within perimeter fencing or periodically disposed of in a manner acceptable to the CFIA
  • once the animals have successfully completed the quarantine, all waste may be disposed of in a manner acceptable to the CFIA
  • carcasses of animals that die during the quarantine must be disposed of by a method approved by the CFIA
  • disposal plans must be available and approved prior to the start of the quarantine, including a site acceptable to the CFIA adequate for burial or incineration of the total number of animals housed in the quarantine


  • the building must be sound and in good repair
  • the building must have the capacity to receive and house the total number of imported animals and any natural increases that may occur during the quarantine period (including eggs laid if relevant).
  • facilities must be designed to prevent escape of the quarantined animals – the requirements will vary based on the species being quarantined
  • facilities must be adequate to prevent contact between imported animals and other animals of like or susceptible species
  • there must be an isolation area or pen that can be used to segregate animals for observation, treatment or parturition
  • a separate room for post mortems and the capabilities to store carcasses and or tissues for further examination or testing must be available
  • prior to receiving the animals for quarantine, the facility must have been cleaned (no visible manure or organic debris) and disinfected in a manner approved by the CFIA
  • all equipment (including tractors) must be cleaned and disinfected prior to use at the quarantine facility. The equipment should remain dedicated to the facility for the entire quarantine period. Prior to removal from the quarantine premises, the equipment must be cleaned and disinfected to the satisfaction of the CFIA.
  • if required, the importer is to provide an egg incubator


  • veterinary supervision is mandatory for the entire quarantine period
  • the supervising veterinarian is to be either a CFIA veterinarian or a Canadian veterinarian designated by the CFIA for these purposes
  • the attendants and veterinarians must have no contact with any other susceptible species within 24 hours of handling quarantined animals
  • shower in may be required if there is a concern with introduction of endemic diseases
  • personnel entering the quarantine must remove street clothing and jewelry and change into dedicated facility clothing and boots
  • disposable gloves must be worn when handling sick animals and hands must be washed after removing gloves
  • shower out is required on exit (including hair, beards) and disinfection of eye glasses
  • additional persons may be authorized onto the premises by the supervising veterinarian to attend to specific needs for the animals e.g. Ultrasound for pregnancy diagnosis, clipping of animals, veterinarians licenced to treat animals becoming ill or to provide specialist service such as pathological evaluation. These persons must be subject to the same sanitary precautions as other staff.


  • the quarantine facility and premises must be kept locked and secure at all times
  • the quarantine facility must have signage indicating that there is a quarantine and no visitors are allowed
  • visitors are strictly prohibited at all times


  • the quarantine facility must be available for the required period of time. Reservations must have been made if required.
  • no other animals of susceptible species are permitted on the premises during the quarantine period
  • mature males are to be kept separated from mature females to prevent breeding and to prevent injuries from aggressive behaviour
  • breeding of or collection of germplasm from imported animals is prohibited during the quarantine period unless it is necessary for a required import testing procedure.


full records must be kept for each animal detailing the following:

  • country of origin
  • name and address of owner / importer
  • date of entry and release
  • clinical history during quarantine
  • tests and treatments performed
  • pens occupied during quarantine
  • direct contacts between like species
  • daily records of mortality (by cages, by species, by room) must be kept for commercial poultry
  • a log must be kept of any people entering the quarantine facility other than the authorized attendant(s). Visits by the supervising veterinarians must be logged.


  • the importer is responsible for the cost of the quarantine facilities, all necessary equipment, feed and bedding, attendant's wages, treatment, veterinary care and any testing or post mortem examinations that are required
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