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New livestock transportation regulations pending

New livestock transportation regulations pending

The CFIA is now accepting public opinions on the changes to the Health of Animals Regulations act

By Jennifer Jackson

Livestock producers may have to soon prepare themselves for transportation regulation changes. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has recently released proposed amendments to the Health of Animals Regulations: Part XII, regarding humane transportation.

The changes were made as the current transportation regulations “do not reflect current science regarding the care and handling of animals, do not align with the standards of Canada’s international trading partners, and are not aligned with the World Organisation for Animal Health welfare standards,” the CFIA wrote in a statement, in vol. 150 of the Canada Gazette.

The changes will better compliment those of Canada’s key trading partners including New Zealand, the United States, the European Union, and Australia, according to the CFIA.

The Agency believes the misalignment of regulations between trading partners, could one-day threaten marketability of Canadian meat.

“A recent European survey concluded that 93 per cent of Europeans agree it is important to establish animal welfare standards that apply to products sourced from within and outside of the EU,” according to the CFIA statement.

The Agency hopes the changes will “reduce transport losses and improve marketability and product quality, leading to benefits for consumer.”

Livestock Truck

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One of the proposed amendments is shorter intervals between access to feed and water. For pigs, regulations previously allowed 36 hour intervals; the CFIA is now proposing this number be changed to 28 hours. For beef and dairy cattle, the interval has changed from 52 hours, to a proposed 36, according to the CFIA statement.

Original regulations were created in 1977, and have faced little change, according to a Dec. 5 release.

“The proposed regulations are the product of ten years of consultation with industry, the public and special interest groups,” according to the release. “Protecting animal welfare in Canada is a shared responsibility between governments, industry (producers, transporters, processors, registered slaughter establishments) and the public.”

As part of the amendment process, the Government is now seeking Canadian’s opinions on the proposed changes for transporting livestock. The CFIA will collect public comments until Feb. 15, 2017.

All proposed amendments and information for commenting on transporting livestock can be found on the Canada Gazette website.

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