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United States, Canada Agree on Protocol to Guide the Cross-Border Transit of Animals in Emergency Situations

Today, the Chief Veterinary Officer (CVO) of Canada, Dr. Mary Jane Ireland and the United States CVO, Dr. Rosemary Sifford, issued the following statement:

"We are pleased to announce that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and the United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS), have officially agreed to implement an Emergency Transit Policy for Regulated Animals.

The policy makes it easier and faster to evacuate regulated animals, such as livestock, birds, pets and companion animals, across the border during emergencies such as flooding, forest fires, extreme weather conditions or disasters, or when routine transportation routes are impaired without feasible alternatives. Animals transiting through the other country during an emergency will be instructed when and where they will have to re-enter their country of origin.

Under the joint policy, the country declaring an emergency will inspect animals, apply official seals to transport conveyances, and issue a simplified export health certificate either at the port(s) of exit by an official veterinarian or at the premises of origin by an accredited veterinarian or official veterinarian.

This joint policy is another example of Canada and United States’ commitment to protect their animal population and it also shows the continued cooperation in supporting producers in both countries. This policy was developed by the CFIA and USDA under the umbrella of the Canada-US Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC) which is intended, amongst others, to maintain and enhance the health, safety and security of Canadians and the environment.”



USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.

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