Export Live Animals to Canada

Last Modified: April 17, 2024

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For Accredited Veterinarians: Electronic signature ACCEPTED

For APHIS VMO: Digital endorsement for SOME COMMODITIES ONLY

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Save Time and Money With VEHCS!

USDA-accredited veterinarians can submit health certificates for electronic signature through VEHCS (Veterinary Export Health Certification System).

Summary of Requirements

For all commodities other than Aquaculture / Aquatic Animals* to Canada, USDA Accredited Veterinarians may issue health certificates electronically through the online Veterinary Export Health Certification System (VEHCS). These certificates will be digitally endorsed by APHIS once received in the system and available for printing by the USDA Accredited Veterinarian once the endorsement is completed by APHIS.

Note: An APHIS-endorsed, printed paper copy must accompany the shipment.

*Health certificates for all Aquaculture / Aquatic Animals may be submitted by the USDA Accredited Veterinarian through VEHCS; however, the APHIS Veterinary Medical Officer's ink (wet) signature with the application of the APHIS embossed seal must appear on the health certificate. To accomplish this, aquatic certificates received by APHIS through the VEHCS system will be printed and endorsed in our offices, and the hard copy will be returned when complete. This APHIS-endorsed paper copy must accompany the shipment. 

USDA Health Certificate options:

Note: When submitting certificates for live horses (non-slaughter) to Canada through VEHCS, please select the intended use of breeding/rearing OR competition/racing. The breeding/rearing option includes all horses traveling as personal pets, for recreation, etc., regardless of intention for use as a breeding animal. 

Note: There are only two classifications of U.S. origin live horses destined for Canada:

Breeding/Rearing/Competition/Racing

This option includes all horses entering Canada for purposes other than slaughter. All horses traveling as personal pets, for recreation, etc. are included in this option, regardless of intention for use as a breeding animal.

Slaughter

Other Equine Certificates

Note: The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) prohibits the movement of live poultry and hatching eggs which originate from, or transit through trade restriction zones established due to detections of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI), and a map of route must be attached to all export health certificates. For industry members needing to evaluate routes and generate maps, the Veterinary Services Trade Route Mapping Tool has been developed to support these processes. Follow the steps in the document entitled "Veterinary Services Trade Route Mapping Tool Access Guide"  below to access the Trade Route Mapping Tool.

Veterinary Services Trade Route Mapping Tool Access Guide (191.6 KB)-  April 2024

Note: The health certificate for the export of Commercial Dogs intended for Breeding/Show/Exhibition must be signed/endorsed by a USDA accredited veterinarian and an APHIS Veterinary Services Veterinarian.

Note: The health certificate for the export of Commercial Dogs intended for Resale/Adoption must be signed by a USDA accredited veterinarian. Endorsement by APHIS Veterinary Services is not required. Please consult APHIS Animal Care for any questions regarding licensing and/or movement of these animals.

Export Restrictions for New Mexico, California, Florida, and Texas

Note: Effective December 2019, Canada has placed a ban on all shipments of whiteleg shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei) from the state of New Mexico which are susceptible to Infectious Hypodermal and Haematopoietic Necrosis Virus (IHHNV).

Note: Effective November 2019, Canada has placed a ban on all shipments of whiteleg shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei) from the state of California which are susceptible to Infectious Hypodermal and Haematopoietic Necrosis Virus (IHHNV).

Note: Effective June 2019, Canada has placed a ban on all shipments of live crustaceans from the states of Florida and Texas which are susceptible to Infectious Hypodermal and Haematopoietic Necrosis Virus (IHHNV).  This includes, but is not limited to: blue shrimp (Litopenaeus stylirostris), brown shrimp (Farfantepenaeus aztecus), brown tiger prawn (Penaeus esculentus), giant tiger prawn (Penaeus monodon), greasyback shrimp (Metapenaeus ensis), northern white shrimp (Litopenaeus setiferus), whiteleg shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei), and yellowleg shrimp (Farfantepenaeus californiensis).  To verify if crustaceans originating from Florida and Texas are susceptible to IHHNV, and are impacted by this ban, please check CFIA regulated species and the diseases they are susceptible to.

Guidance Documents

How to Meet the Requirements for Export of Aquatic Animals from the United States to Canada (349.54 KB)

Disease and Testing Information:

Aquatic Animals and Germplasm - Culture

Aquatic Animals and Germplasm - Research and Education

Aquatic Animals Intended for Zoo/Aquarium

Aquatic Animals Intended for Food Service, Retail, or Further Processing

Finfish

Koi Carp

Note: Instructions for Koi Health Certificate (120.28 KB) - March 2019

Note: Testing Information for Koi Health Certificate (140.83 KB) - March 2019

Ornamental Aquatic Animals

Pets

Visit the APHIS Pet Travel Website for information about exporting your pets.
 

If your species is not listed, the requirements for that species are not known. Exporters who want to ship livestock or germplasm whose requirements are not listed above should have the importer or buyer in the destination country apply for an import permit at the appropriate ministry. This import permit will most likely outline the specific requirements.

Need Help?

Export Trade Services (by State)

APHIS has animal health officials available nationwide with expertise in export requirements for animals. Contact your nearest office for questions about endorsing an export or health certificate for live animals. 

Canada Import Permit Information