Criteria for Minimum 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 minimum security quarantine.

Location / Environment

  • surrounding operation must not permit direct contact with susceptible species

Building / Facility Specifications


  • the site must be fenced to prevent the entrance of wildlife and stray persons and contain the quarantined animals should they escape from the quarantine facility
  • the fencing should of be of construction (material, mesh type and size) sufficient to prevent susceptible species passing through
  • any gates in the fencing must be lockable
  • for those animals permitted to be outside, fencing and paddock / field selection must be adequate to prevent contact between the quarantined animals and other animals of susceptible species
  • this can be accomplished either by double fencing of the paddocks or by preventing concurrent presence of susceptible species in the neighboring fenced fields / paddocks

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
  • feed must be stored in a manner that prevents access by susceptible species

Waste Handling / Disposal

  • in the case of imported animals quarantined (post entry testing) for diseases transmitted by direct contact – during the quarantine period the manure from the quarantined animals must be either stored in a manner that prevents access by susceptible species or is disposed of at a site not accessed by susceptible species
  • following successful completion of the quarantine there are no restrictions on the disposal of manure
  • carcasses of animals that die during the quarantine must be disposed of by a method approved by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA)


  • the housing (buildings or paddocks) must be sound and in good repair
  • the housing 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
  • facilities must be adequate to prevent contact between imported animals and other animals of like or susceptible species
  • facilities are required to adequately restrain animals for import testing
  • prior to receiving the animals for quarantine, the quarantine area must have been cleaned (no visible manure or organic debris) to the satisfaction of a veterinary inspector designated for that purpose by the CFIA
  • all large equipment must be cleaned of organic debris prior to and upon completion of use at the quarantine facility.
  • all small equipment used on the quarantined animals (e.g. halters / floats) should be dedicated to the quarantined animals for the duration of the quarantined or washed prior to coming into contact with non quarantined animals.

Vector control

  • If a disease is transmitted by vectors and the vector is present in Canada, if the importation occurs during the vector free season – no additional requirements;
  • if the importation occurs during a time when the vector is present in Canada – additional requirements for prevention of access of vectors to the animals will be required (screening or treatment, restriction to indoors).
  • animals being retested only for a disease known to exist in Canada will be exempt from the additional requirements (e.g. equine infectious anemia).


  • 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
  • clothing and footwear worn by people coming into contact with the quarantined animals should be either dedicated to the facility or cleaned and disinfected prior to contact with animals of like or susceptible species
  • hands should be thoroughly washed after handling the quarantined animals


  • visitors are prohibited; unless accompanied by supervising veterinarian
  • the quarantine facility and premises must be kept locked and secure at all times


  • the quarantine facility must be available for the required period of time
  • only one quarantine group is to be housed at one time (this can be interpreted to include several shipments of the same species, of the same health status, arriving at approximately the same time; the quarantine period will be the same for all the animals with it being released for all the animals at the same time)
  • mature males and females are to be kept separately
  • breeding of or collection of germplasm from imported animals is prohibited during the quarantine period other than as required to complete the import testing procedure
  • animals requiring specialized medical attention may be transported off the quarantine site under licence authorized by the supervising veterinarian. A second quarantine site must be established to house the animal at the facility of destination (e.g. veterinary college hospital).
  • illness or deaths must be reported immediately to the supervising veterinarian
  • post mortems or additional testing on the quarantined animals may be ordered by the supervising veterinarian. The dead animals may be licensed to a pathology laboratory in a vehicle that is subject to appropriate cleaning and disinfection upon delivery of the animal at the laboratory. The receiving laboratory must be notified of the quarantined status of the incoming carcass and requested to take the appropriate precautions (dependent on the diseases for which the animals are being quarantined). The quarantine will not be released until the results of all outstanding tests and post mortems are received.


  • clinical records must be kept on animals by the attending veterinarian
  • 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 veterinarian 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

Additional requirements for avians

  • No other avians are permitted to be on the quarantine premises while the premises is being used as a quarantine. This includes apartment buildings in the case of pet birds.
  • Quarantines for avians must be all in/all out. If birds are added after the beginning of a quarantine, all birds must remain in quarantine until the end of the quarantine period for the added birds.
  • Quarantines should be restricted to birds from only one country.
  • Either a dedicated attendant is required or strict biosecurity measures must be in place and approved by the CFIA.
  • Outdoor pens should not be approved as a quarantine premises.
  • As a guideline, there should be no avians within 400 metres of the quarantine premises.
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