Domestic Issues

New Humane Transportation Regulations

The new regulations for the humane transport of livestock including beef cattle came into force on February 20, 2020, with a two-year transition period on the feed, water and rest interval provisions for the livestock sector.

As industry transitions and adapts from the old regulations’ transport times to the new regulations, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (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 approach will allow the CFIA and industry to continue to work together on effective solutions to identified issues and to implement any adjustments. This work could include examining the capacity of rest stop stations in Canada and reviewing the ongoing government funded livestock transportation research.

It is imperative that we get the regulations right – our goal is to maintain and improve the industry’s excellent track record.

Below is the communique released by the CFIA outlining the 2-year transition period and what it will entail:

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.

The following figure provides an overview of the compliance and enforcement approach supporting the coming into force of the amended regulations.

  2020.02.20 Transition Period Chart Humane Transport

Source: CFIA

CFIA has also developed tools to help livestock producers comply with the new regulations. For compliance tips, please visit here for the English version and here for the French version.

Record keeping requirements have been updated under the new regulations. Click here for a sample record keeping form that can be used by cattle producers and livestock haulers.

Growing Forward 2
The July Federal-Provincial-Territorial (FPT) Ag Ministers meeting indicates some progress is being made regarding CCA policy on programs under Growing Forward 2 (GF2).  The CCA has been lobbying for several years to see price insurance availability expanded beyond Alberta. This is a useful risk management tool that should be more widely available.  Increasing its availability will reduce interprovincial differences in programs available to cattle producers.  Price insurance also addresses some of the imbalance present in risk management options available to grain producers versus what is available to cattle producers.  Improved forage and pasture insurance is also needed to better level the playing field between annual crops and perennial crops. The CCA has worked with the federal and provincial governments on this file and looks forward to seeing new and improved programs rolling out.  

Since BSE CCA has lobbied for solid disaster planning and programming.  AgriRecovery events of the past several years have pointed out gaps in business risk management programs.  Work remains to improve the business risk management portion of GF2 to be able to manage future disaster events.  The CCA continues to work with federal and provincial governments in making the most of the other areas of GF 2. CCA believe that triggers should be clearly defined and science-based. This will improve the transparency and predictability of the program, and will enable producers to make timely decisions.

In CCA’s view, AgriStability will work better for all producers by redefining or temporarily eliminating the viability test, eliminate caps and allow producers to calculate reference margins on Olympic average or last three years.

Red Tape Reduction
The CCA continues its effort with the U.S. to implement the Beyond the Border and Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC) action plans that can reduce red tape and cut costs to export to the U.S.

Initiatives under the RCC launched in 2011 by former Prime Minister Stephen Harper and President Barack Obama included roadmaps to achieve implementation of electronic border clearances, improved approval processes for veterinary drugs and other regulatory streamlining that will improve the competitiveness of the Canadian and U.S. meat sector.

The CCA remains committed to improving and enhancing our traceability system, but believes timelines and methods must be considered carefully to ensure that we don’t simply add another regulatory cost that will leave Canadian producers less competitive.