Cold Weather Notice: Humane Transport and Animal Welfare

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The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) reminds anyone involved in handling or transporting animals to take appropriate measures to protect animals from extreme temperatures.

Every person transporting animals by any means in Canada is legally obligated to ensure that the entire trip - including loading, transporting, and unloading - does not injure or cause undue suffering to animals. Regulations apply to all groups involved in the loading, transporting and receiving of animals including owners and producers, processors, auction markets, assembly yards, feedlots, shippers and drivers.

During the winter months, extra measures should be taken to help protect every animal from the colder temperatures and elements. These can include:

  • adjusting loading density
  • providing additional bedding or insulation
  • increasing weather protection for animals on vehicles
  • delaying transport to wait for warmer temperatures

Transporters should consult applicable codes of practice for the care and handling of farm animals.

The majority of Canadian producers and transporters are committed to treating animals humanely. However, in circumstances where animals are not appropriately cared for, the CFIA will not hesitate to take enforcement actions which may include license suspensions, issuance of charges, fines and possible prosecutions under various federal regulations. The CFIA also works closely with provincial authorities in cases where provincial animal welfare regulations are contravened.

Learn more about humane transport and animal welfare.

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