Notice on Importing Horses to Canada from the United States

Notice on Importing Horses to Canada from the United States

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The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is reminded residents in late June to check Canada's import requirements before arriving at the border from the United States with their horses.

Import requirements are in place to protect human and animal health and can change at any time in response to an animal disease outbreak in another country. Failure to meet import requirements could result in delays at the border or denial of entry.

New import requirements are in place in response to the recent outbreak of vesicular stomatitis (VS) in the United States. Canadian horses that have been in a VS-infected state can only return to Canada if they move to an uninfected state and reside there for at least 21 days. Certification by the USDA is required. Some U.S. states have put controls in place in response to the outbreak, so travelers should check state requirements before moving their horses.

It is important to note that after 60 days residency in the United States, Canadian origin horses lose their Canadian status for import purposes and are considered U.S.-origin horses.

In certain cases, horses might need to be inspected by the CFIA at the border. If an inspection is required, it is the importer's responsibility to arrange an appointment at least 24 hours before their expected arrival at the border. This ensures a veterinarian is available for the inspection and minimizes delays.

Information on animal import requirements can be found in the CFIA's automated import reference system (AIRS). To receive the latest AIRS updates, interested parties can sign up online for email notifications.

Travelers should contact a CFIA district office for the latest information, including the latest list of affected states, before leaving or returning to Canada as import requirements can change at any time and might not be immediately reflected in AIRS.

Travelers are also reminded that steps should be taken to protect animals during transport, especially in extreme temperatures.

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