animal transport

Animal transport

Visit our new website dedicated to the transportation of farm animals in Canada,

Canada’s transport regulations governing the handling and transport of farm animals are cruel and outdated and need to be revised.

The Federal Government published draft animal transport regulations on December 3, 2016.

The Basics

The stress of transport

Long haul transportation (longer than eight hours) is common and poses significant risk to animals due to water and food deprivation, exhaustion, jostling and piling, over-heating or exposure to cold temperatures. The importing and exporting of animals for food is a global business. Animals are transported by motor vehicle, sea vessel, railway or aircraft. For example, Canadian cattle are shipped to Mexico by truck.

“Downer” – is an industry term to describe an animal too sick or injured to walk or stand. Downers are a serious consequence of the animal industry, causing animal suffering and human health hazards. Downer animals should be humanely killed on the farm, not dragged onto vehicles to slaughter plants, in hopes of obtaining “salvage” value from suffering animals. Despite the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s (CFIA) recent ban on transportation of downer animals, downer animals still occur.

Loading and unloading – rough treatment of animals during loading and unloading often involves excessive electric prodding. Most downer pigs result from rough, aggressive handling from farm to slaughter plant. “Spent hens” – birds being slaughtered following a year of egg production, are especially vulnerable to rough handling and too often arrive injured or dead at slaughter plants.

Overcrowding – causes trampled animals and downers, and does not allow sufficient space for animals to lie down during long journeys. Overcrowding causes decreased airflow and leads to high ammonia levels and poor air quality. Chickens, pigs and sheep are particularly susceptible to problems from poor air quality, and often die en route.

For more information about farm animal transport, download our fact sheet. You can also download our transportation fact sheet in french.

Read CCFA director Stephanie Brown's op-ed on animal transport, published in The Hill Times in June 2016

or learning more about what membership entails

Our e-Parliamentary petition on animal transport is now completed.

To read the minister's reply, please click here.

Videos of animals in transport

Court case against Maple Lodge Farms

Report by World Society for the Protection of Animals:

Curb the Cruelty: Canada's farm animal transport ststem in need of repair

Other organizations and campaigns working to end long distance transport