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Import of Live Cattle and Bison from Canada to the United States

photo of cows in fenced area, winter weather

USDA APHIS regulates the importation of all ruminants and their germplasm (embryos/oocytes, semen, cloning tissue) to prevent the spread of animal diseases. Ruminants include all animals which chew the cud, such as cattle, buffaloes, sheep, goats, deer, antelopes, camels, llamas and giraffes.

Northern Border Ports:

  • Idaho: Eastport
  • Maine: Houlton and Jackman
  • Michigan: Detroit, Port Huron, and Sault Ste. Marie
  • Minnesota: Baudette
  • Montana: Opheim, Raymond, and Sweetgrass
  • New York: Alexandria Bay, Buffalo, and Champlain
  • North Dakota: Dunseith, Pembina, and Portal
  • Vermont: Derby Line and Highgate Springs
  • Washington: Oroville and Sumas


  • Newburg, NY
  • Miami, FL
  • Los Angeles, CA

** Please see 9CFR 93.403 for list of special/limited ports of entry

Live Domestic Cattle and Bison

  • Protocol Wood Bison from Canada January 2022
  • Protocol Cattle and Bison from Canada June 2018
    • NOTE:  As of November 13, 2017, the requirement for individual age identification for cattle destined for immediate slaughter has been removed from the Canadian export certificate.

Guidance specific to the importation of Cattle/Ruminants from Canada

Feeder Calves (“bob” calves under 21 days)

Update: Import Alert: Pre-Shipment Approval and Destination Inspection for Calf-Only Shipments from Canada (

Highgate, VT (
Alexandria Bay, NY (
Niagara Falls, NY (
Port Huron, MI (

Bovine Embryos

A permit and export health certificate are required to import bovine embryos from Canada.

Bovine Semen

A permit is not required to import bovine semen from Canada transported by land; an export health certificate must accompany the shipment and the port of entry into the United States must be notified at least three days in advance (port information)

What You Need to Know

  • U.S. transits are classified as shipments presented to a U.S. port of entry for conveyance purposes to then be transported to a destination country shortly after.
  • Please note that any animals and their germplasm transiting the US must not transit countries with questionable disease statuses prior to reaching a U.S. port of entry.
  • All transits require a contingency plan. Please submit your contingency plan with your permit application (VS 17-129) on the E-permits website or via email at

To submit an import permit electronically, please visit APHIS eFile.

If you are applying to import live animals, semen and embryos, you may submit applications by email to

Contact Us

Live Animal Import/Export and Permitting
USDA-APHIS Veterinary Services
4700 River Road Unit 39
Riverdale, MD 20737
Phone: 301.851.3300 Option 2

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