Requirements for the Movement of Small Ruminants Transiting Canada by Land Between the Continental United States and Alaska

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June 8, 2011

Small ruminants are defined as members of the Family: Bovidae; Subfamily: Caprinae; Genus: Ovis and Capra. In general, the term "small ruminants" applies to sheep and goats and their exotic relatives (of the genus Ovis and Capra).


  • The purpose of this import directive is to describe the protocol for the movement of small ruminants by land between the continental United States and Alaska.
  • Under a joint arrangement made by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Veterinary Services, small ruminant animals of U.S. origin may directly transit Canada without stopping (except for the required feed, water, or rest) while moving between states.
  • Such consignments must comply with APHIS conditions for re-entry to the U.S.; with CFIA requirements and oversight for any applicable feed, water, and rest stops in Canada; and with CFIA's import health requirements for livestock entering Canada.
  • This directive has been developed specifically for small ruminants, but components of the policy may be applied for other species on a case-by-case basis. Please contact your Regional Office for more details.

Note: In-transit shipments will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and approved subject to a shipment's meeting CFIA requirements and the availability of the necessary CFIA resources.

For additional information on the U.S. requirements, please visit the USDA-APHIS Animal Import Web page and review the section on "Procedures for Interstate Shipments of U.S. Origin Non-Bovine Ruminant Animals Transiting Through Canada (Also Pertains to Alaskan Intrastate Movements Through Canada)."

Documentation Requirements

Import Permit

  • This permit is required at the time of entry into Canada.
  • Please contact your Regional Office to apply for an import permit before the animal is imported.

Note: A Canadian Import Permit can only be issued to a Canadian resident, a registered Canadian business, or a Canadian broker acting on behalf of a U.S. exporter.

Please see the additional information on the process of Application for a Permit to Import.

USDA Export Certificate

  • This must be an official export certificate (VS Form 17-140 or other similar official export document).
  • It can either be completed by a U.S. accredited veterinarian and endorsed by a USDA federal veterinarian or completed entirely by a USDA federal veterinarian.
  • There will be a USDA seal imprint on the form. It will list all required tests and their results and will include all required statements.

General Import Notes

  • The original of this permit and any other necessary export documentation pertaining to the shipment must be provided for inspection at the first port of entry.
  • The conditions in this permit can only be changed or amended by a CFIA inspector. Any change to the permit by an unauthorized person will render the permit invalid.
  • Accompanying export documentation must be issued in either English or French.
  • Should the disease status of the country of origin change between the time of issuance of this permit and the time of entry into Canada, the import shipment may be refused entry into Canada or be subject to additional quarantine and testing or treatment. Importers will be responsible for any additional incurred costs.


  • The animal must be inspected prior to export and accompanied by VS Form 17-140, or a similar official export document issued by an official veterinarian of the U.S., or a certificate issued by a veterinarian licensed in the U.S. and endorsed by an official veterinarian of the U.S.

    This official document must contain the following statements:

    • The animal was inspected by a veterinarian within 30 days preceding the date of importation.
    • The animal was found by a veterinarian to be free from communicable disease.
    • The animal was, to the best of the knowledge and belief of a veterinarian, not exposed to any communicable disease within 60 days preceding the date of inspection.
    • The description of the animal is provided, including identification with an official USDA ear tag or a tamper-resistant ear tag approved by the USDA, or a unique alpha numeric tattoo or electronic identification, provided a reader that is satisfactory to determine the elements accompanies the animal.
    • The animal being presented for importation must have been either resident in the U.S. for at least 60 days immediately prior to the date of exportation, or resident since birth.
    • The animal must have been tested and be free from disease as shown by results on VS Form 17-140 or similar official export document.

Test Requirements


  1. Brucellosis: fluorescent polarization assay (FPA) test, or other test approvedFootnote 1 by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) for this purpose, performed within 30 days of import.
  2. Tuberculosis: the standard caudal fold tuberculin injection with a reading of results at 72 hours as "No Reaction" performed within 60 days of import.


No test requirements.

Additional Information

  • In-transit shipments will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and approved subject to a shipment's meeting CFIA requirements and to the availability of the necessary CFIA resources. Importers must contact the CFIA with details of their itinerary well in advance of a proposed shipment to ensure that all necessary arrangements can be made.
  • The importer is required to obtain an import permit from the USDA, allowing the animal to re-enter the U.S. after transiting Canada, and a copy of this permit must be provided at the time of application for the CFIA in-transit permit.
  • The importer is responsible for securing the services of a temporary post-import quarantine location where the animal must be off-loaded for the required feeding, water, rest, and inspection. Alternatively, the importer can identify a particular location (rest stop) where the transport vehicle can be stopped and the animal fed, watered, rested, and inspected while remaining inside the vehicle. In these cases, details must be provided to allow the CFIA to approve the use of the transport vehicle for feed, water, and rest.
    • These locations must be within 100 km of Dawson Creek (British Columbia), or Grand Prairie (Alberta), and must be approved by a CFIA inspector to meet the relevant criteria for a quarantine or rest area prior to a permit being issued.
  • Documentation for importation must be presented to a federal inspector at the first point of entry.
  • For shipments originating in Alaska, the CFIA must be contacted for specific information regarding import inspection procedures following entry into Canada.

Transportation Requirements

  • The animal must be shipped by the most direct and appropriate route from the point of entry into Canada to the pre-approved temporary post-import quarantine or rest stop location, and then on to the point of exit from Canada.
  • The animal must be shipped in a vehicle that has been cleaned and disinfected.
  • The animal must be certified to be fit for transport without undue suffering by reason of infirmity, illness, injury, fatigue, or other cause during the expected journey. It may be ordered removed from Canada if the manner of shipping is found to be in contravention of transport regulations under the Health of Animals Regulations.
  • In-transit movement by ground: The vehicle used to transport the animal must be sealed by an inspector designated under the Health of Animals Act in a manner to preclude opening. The animal must be transported from the port of entry into Canada to the pre-approved temporary post-import quarantine location or rest stop location. The conveyance carrying the animal must not stop at any premises en route that has livestock or that produces products pertaining to livestock. The CFIA must be present to unseal the truck (if necessary) and supervise the required feed, water, and rest of the animal, either inside the transport vehicle or within the pre-approved temporary quarantine location. The CFIA must re-seal the truck (if necessary) for movement to the port of exit.
  • The driver of the conveyance must possess documentation from the CFIA, authorizing the movement of the shipment from the port of entry to the pre-approved temporary post-import quarantine location or rest stop, and then on to the port of departure from Canada. The seals must not be tampered with or broken by a person other than an inspector designated under the Health of Animals Act.
  • All transportation must be in accordance with the Health of Animals Regulations for the humane transportation of animals, particularly those sections that stipulate the maximum transit time, as unloading of the animal will only be allowed at the pre-approved rest stop while in Canada.
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