Import Health Requirements of Canada for Exported From the United States

Reprinted from Bison World, October/November/December, 1999


Editor's Note: Call any USDA Veterinary Services office for a complete list of requirements regarding import/export of bison. I've tried to hit the high points of these regulations. They are condensed from over 20 pages of requirements and definitions .

These requirements are for animals coming from Ranch herds. Assembled herds ( defined as any herd that has had an animal added in the last 6 months, which includes any animals sold at a public sale) may not go directly to Canada and may have to meet special testing requirements.

The animals must be accompanied by a US. Origin Health Certificate issued by a veterinarian authorized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and endorsed by a Veterinary Services veterinarian. The certificate shall contain the name and address of the consignor and the consignee and complete identification of the animal(s) to be exported. Additional information shall include:

Certification Statements

  1. Brucellosis declaration/testing
  2. The animals originate from a tuberculosis (TB) accredited-free herd or a herd of negative status in a modified TB accredited state.
  3. All the bovines in the herd(s) of origin, as well as sheep and goats on the same premises, have been inspected within 30 days of entry into Canada and show no clinical evidence of anaplasmosis or bluetongue.
  4. To the best of the knowledge and belief of the veterinarian issuing and/or endorsing the health certificate, anaplasmosis has not existed clinically or serologically in the herd of origin for the 2 years immediately preceding the exportation.
  5. Bluetongue declaration/testing
  6. The animals were not born in Great Britain or the Republic of Ireland subsequent to January 1, 1982.
  7. The animals have not been vaccinated for brucellosis under the whole herd vaccination program (adult vaccination). In the case of a bull, the animal has not been vaccinated for brucellosis.
  8. The animals are free of ectoparasites, OR the animals have been treated for ectoparasites within 30 days of export. (The name of product and date of treatment must appear on the health certificate).
  9. To the best of my knowledge and belief, the animals listed on this certificate were not exposed to any communicable disease within 60 days preceding the date of inspection.

Test Requirements

The animals were negative to the following tests:

  1. Brucellosis
  2. Tuberculosis -Accredited-free herd
  3. Anaplasmosis -As specified
  4. Bluetongue

Other Supplemental Information Relates to These General Areas and May Be Obtained by Contacting USDANS or U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services

1. Herd definition for anaplasmosis: Canada bases its test requirements for anaplasmosis on the status of the herds; i.e. herds of origin being either bona fide breeding herds or non-bona fide herds.

2. Laboratory testing for bluetongue and anaplasmosis: Retests for bluetongue and anaplasmosis must be performed at the same laboratory that conducted the original tests.

3. Canada has specific brucellosis and TB requirement interpretations(Obtain supplemental information for details.)

4. Isolation requirements of Canada (Obtain supplemental information for details.)

5. Anaplasmosis and bluetongue test considerations (Obtain supplemental information for details.)

6. Identification: Canada requires that all bison be identified by an official metal eartag. Other available identification (dangle tags, etc. ) may also be recorded on the health certificate.

There are two ports with facilities adequate to offload bison: North Portal, Saskatchewan, and St.-Bernard-de-lacolle, Quebec. The following alternative procedure provides an option where the bison are not required to be offloaded, so they can therefore go through any of the other CFIA ports. The Canadian Bison Association has specific plastic eartags, which have been approved, and the Canadian importer must supply these tags to the U.S.

exporter, and they must be applied at the time of testing. Both the USDA eartag and the Canadian Bison Association tag must be recorded on the export health certificate. At the time of loading the bison, an additional supplemental health certificate must be issued by the accredited veterinarian. This certificate provides assurance of the identity and health of the animals at the time of loading. The accredited veterinarian must also seal the truck at the time of loading. The supplemental certificate has been developed by CFIA, and blank copies will be supplied by the Canadian importer. The statement on the supplemental certificate is as follows: "I, the undersigned veterinarian, do hereby certify that I was present at the time of loading as indicated above and found the described

bison in good condition and free from any clinical signs of communicable disease. If these bison have been offloaded en route to Canada they have been kept isolated from other livestock. At the time of loading of the above shipment, I verified the unique dangle tags from the Canadian Bison Association and the USDA tag on each animal and

checked to see if they corresponded to the tags listed on the official USDA Certificate. I personally placed the numbered seals listed above on all doors to the livestock compartment of the transport vehicle."

7. Bison returning to Canada from the United States: the following requirements for Canadian bison returning from the United States must be met:

a. Bison being returned to Canada will be permitted entry into Canada if they are accompanied by a copy of the Canadian export health certificate and they are returned to Canada within 30 days after entry into the United States.

b. Bison being returned to Canada between 30 and 60 days after entry into the United States must be accompanied by a U.S. Origin Health Certificate indicating they were negative to a test for brucellosis, anaplasmosis. and bluetongue conducted within 30 days prior to their return to Canada. The TB test conducted to permit the animal to enter the United States is valid for bison being returned to Canada if no more than 60 days have elapsed since the reading date. The U.S. Origin Health Certificate must show the date the animal(s) was imported into the United States from Canada and the test results. A copy of the Canadian health certificate on which the animal entered the United States shall be attached to the health certificate.

c. When more than 60 days has elapsed since the date of entry into the United States, the bison shall be certified as U.S. origin livestock.

8. Bison for immediate slaughter: Bison for immediate slaughter, which are consigned directly to an establishment registered under the Canadian Meat Inspectors Act, are not to be accompanied by a U.S. Origin Health Certificate.

Import Protocol for Bison from the USA ~ Update

This information highlights a new Canadian procedure on Imported bison from the USA.

Main features include:

  • the use of Canadian Bison Association Eartags
  • additional certification by a private U.S. veterinarian
  • no offloading at the Canadian port of entry if taken to a pre-approved quarantine facility.

This new Import procedure allows U.S. bison to be cleared through any Canadian port where a Canadian Food Inspection Agency ( CFIA) veterinarian is available and not require offloading of the bison for CFIA inspection. In the past, import of bison from the USA was allowed only through designated ports of entry for bison (North Portal, Saskatchewan, and St.-Bernard-de-Lacolle, Quebec) where appropriate handling facilities were located. Inspection at these ports involved offloading of the bison to ensure all bison are lively and healthy and that the official eartag from the United States matches the tags listed on the official export certification.

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