Transporting animals during hot and humid weather

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May 18, 2016 – Summer is fast approaching and with that can come extreme weather conditions. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) reminds anyone involved in handling or transporting animals to take appropriate measures to protect animals from the effects of 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 result in injury, suffering or death to the animals. Regulations apply to anyone involved in the transportation process, including owners and producers, processors, auction markets, assembly yards, feedlots, shippers and drivers.

During the summer months, extra measures should be taken to protect every animal from undue stress. These can include:

  • Handling animals in a manner to minimize stress.
  • Providing sufficient ventilation at all times, including when the vehicle is stopped or animals are waiting to be loaded or unloaded.
  • Monitoring weather conditions closely and adjusting ventilation accordingly.
  • Delaying loading and transport during extremely hot periods.
  • Parking vehicles containing animals in the shade (not directly in the sunlight). When it is necessary to stop, minimize the duration of the stop to prevent the build-up of heat in the vehicle.
  • Reducing loading density.

Transporters should consult The National Farm Animal Care Council's Recommended code of practice for the care and handling of farm animals – Transportation.

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. Visit the CFIA's website for more information on livestock transport requirements in Canada, including transportation practices, fitness for transport and special provisions.

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