Two-Year Transition-Period granted under Transportation Regulations for Livestock Sector

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Source: Canadian Cattlemen’s Association

In December 2019, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Marie Claude Bibeau addressed beef cattle producers regarding livestock transportation regulations at the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association BBQ on Parliament Hill. While the Minister indicated regulations would still come into force on February 20th, 2020, there will be a 2-year “transition period” on the feed, water, and rest interval provisions for the livestock sector.

Below is the communique released by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) outlining the 2-year transition period details:

Graduated enforcement of the Health of Animals Regulations (HAR) Part XII (transport of animals) coming in to force as of February 20, 2020.

The CFIA has a mandate to enforce Canada’s Health of Animals legislation, including updates made to the Transport of Animals provisions in Part XII of the HAR.   While ensuring the well-being of animals during transport remains our highest priority, we recognize that in some industry sectors significant adjustments are needed in order to meet the new transport of animal requirements as of February 20, 2020.  

How will CFIA enforce the regulations?

CFIA’s enforcement approach will balance the need to ensure the well-being of animals during the entire transportation process while supporting the different industry sectors in complying with the regulations.

Enforcement actions, where applicable, will be proportionate to the animal welfare situation and the seriousness of the non-compliance and may include notices (verbal or written) or a notice of violation (with warning or with monetary penalty). Factors such as potential or actual harm, compliance history and intent are also taken into consideration. 

CFIA will implement a transition period for the feed, water and rest time interval provisions for bovine and other sectors. 

Will CFIA take enforcement action with respect to the prescriptive feed, water, rest time interval provisions in the amended regulations?

The CFIA understands the challenges faced by some sectors in meeting the new requirements for feed, water and rest times, which could include a need for new infrastructure to be put in place or changes to marketing practices in order to meet the reduced times for feed, water and rest.

As industry transitions and adapts from the old regulations’ transport times to the new regulations’, the CFIA will focus its activities for feed water and rest times on compliance promotion through education and awareness measures for the first two years.  This is part of the CFIA’s compliance continuum.  This education approach will allow the CFIA and industry to continue to work together on effective solutions to identified issues and for livestock sectors to implement any adjustments.

Based on our initial interpretation, the CCA is pleased with the announcement and are hopeful a willingness exists on behalf of CFIA to pause and take into account ongoing government funded livestock transportation research. It is imperative that we get the regulations right and ensure the highest number of positive outcomes for transported animals.

CCA is currently participating in a joint CFIA/industry working group tasked with identifying potential challenges with the regulations and develop solutions to these issues.  A main focus of the working group is to refine the CFIA’s current regulatory interpretive guidance document.

With the February 20th implementation date approaching, we encourage cattle producers to contact the CCA with any questions about the regulations, which can be found online here.  CCA will continue to work closely with the CFIA over the two-year transition period to mitigate potential negative impacts from the regulations and maintain cattle producers’ strong track record of transporting cattle successfully in Canada.

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