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New Restrictions for Equine Imports into Canada from the United States | Print |
January 21, 2009 — The Breeds & Industry Division of Equine Canada is advising stakeholders in Canada that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has announced revised import requirements as a result of the expanding investigation into contagious equine metritis (CEM) in the U.S. The revised import protocols will affect all live horses, semen and embryos entering Canada from the U.S.
 
Canadians seeking timely information regarding import requirements are advised to use the CFIA’s Automated Import Reference System (AIRS).

New CFIA Import restrictions for horses and their germplasm

Note: For the purpose of clarity in this document only horses are mentioned in the following conditions, however, they apply to all equines: horses, asses, mules and zebras)

For Live Horses:
(including Canadian horses returning to Canada but excluding horses for immediate slaughter)
  • Implementation date: January 19, 2009
  • No import permit required (except for certain categories of horses from the State of Florida because of Equine Piroplasmosis)
The following additional certification will be required on all U.S. export certificates issued after January 19, 2009, and for Canadian horses exported to the U.S. and returning on a Canadian health certificate issued after January 19, 2009:
  • The horse(s) have not been on a premises where T.equigenitalis has been isolated during the 60 days immediately preceding exportation to Canada or a premises currently under quarantine or investigation for CEM. Any female(s) in the shipment have not been bred naturally to, or inseminated with, semen from a stallion positive for CEM, or a stallion resident upon a positive premises or under quarantine or investigation for CEM.
AND
  • Showed no clinical signs of CEM on the day of inspection.
Note: For Canadian horses returning to Canada on a Canadian health certificate issued after January 19, 2009, a supplemental certification document with the above mentioned requirements will be provided by the CFIA endorsing office when advised of intended return. The supplemental certification will need to be attached to the Canadian health certificate and endorsed by USDA before return of the horse(s) to Canada.

For Semen: (frozen and fresh)

(Approximate implementation date: January 26, 2009)

1.     For semen collected before December 15, 2008:
  • No import permit required
  • U.S. health certificate required
The following certification will be required on the U.S. export certificate:
  • Date of collection;
  • Identity of the donor stallion
AND
  • Identity of the collection premises
2.     For semen collected after December 15, 2008:

(Approximate implementation date: January 26, 2009)
  • Import permit required
  • U.S. health certificate required.
The following certification will be required on the U.S. health certificate:
  • The donor stallion(s) have not been on a premises where T.equigenitalis has been isolated during the 60 days immediately preceding collection of the semen for export to Canada or a premises currently under quarantine or investigation for CEM.
  • The semen was processed using an extender that contains antibiotics effective against  T.equigenitalis.
  • Semen presented for importation into Canada must be in individual receptacles or straws, each marked with the collection date, identity of the donor and the semen collection premises.
For Embryos:

(Approximate implementation date: January 26, 2009)
  • Import permit required
  • U.S. health certificate required.
The following certification will be required on the U.S. health certificate:
  • The donor mare(s) have not been on a premises where T.equigenitalis has been isolated during the 60 days immediately preceding the collection of the embryo(s) for export to Canada or a premises currently under quarantine or investigation for CEM and have not been bred naturally or inseminated with semen from a stallion positive for CEM, or a stallion resident upon a positive premises or under quarantine or investigation for CEM.
  • The flushing medium that was used to collect the embryo(s) contains antibiotics effective against T.equigenitalis.
  • Embryos presented for importation into Canada must be in sterile straws or pipettes, each marked with the collection date, identity of the donor and the embryo collection premises.
To download an Import Permit Application Form for Live Animals, Semen, Embryos, Animal Products and By-Products, visit the CFIA website.
 
The single use import permit costs $35 and the multiple use import permit costs $60.

The Application for Permit to Import is completed by the importer. In order to apply for an import permit, importers in Canada will have to contact one of the following CFIA area offices:

For the Atlantics
 
Dr. Allan McLean
Animal Health Staff Veterinarian
Atlantic Area
Telephone: (506) 851-7871
Fax: (506) 851-3700
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For Québec

Dr. Alain Lajoie
Program Specialist— Importation
Program Network—Quebec
Telephone: (514) 283-3815 (4210)
Fax: (514) 283-6214
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For Ontario

Dr. Susan Wray
Program Specialist—Import
Program Network—Ontario
Telephone: (519) 826-2810
Fax: (519) 837-9771
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For the West

Dr Gary Kruger
Veterinary Program Specialist
Program Network—West
Telephone: (403) 292-5825
Fax: (403) 292-6629
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The completed application must be faxed or mailed with payment to the Import Office in the province you reside in or into which you will be importing the commodity(ies). You will be contacted by the Import Office within three (3) days of receipt of the application form with information on how to proceed.

To reference the responsibilities of Brokers, visit the CFIA website.
 
These revised import restrictions are a result of the expanding investigation into CEM. The USDA has confirmed, as of January 21, nine stallions as positive for CEM, four in Kentucky, three in Indiana, one in Wisconsin and one in Texas. The USDA has undertaken an extensive traceback exercise to identify and locate all horses in the US that have been exposed to the CEM positive stallions either through direct contact or collected semen. The USDA reports that the locations of approximately 275 exposed horses in 38 states have also been confirmed but more exposed horses are actively being traced. For more information, visit http://www.aphis.usda.gov/newsroom/hot_issues/cem/index.shtml.

Shipments of frozen semen from one of these stallions were sent to Ontario and Alberta in the spring of 2008. To date, nine premises—three in Alberta and six in Ontario—are under quarantine, and the exposed mares are undergoing testing.  These measures will remain in place until all animals have tested negative for CEM. As investigations in Canada and the U.S. continue, animals on additional farms may be quarantined.

CEM is a reportable disease in Canada and the U.S. This means that all suspected cases in Canada must be reported to the CFIA for immediate investigation by inspectors. CEM is a highly contagious disease that affects the reproductive tract of horses. The disease can cause temporary infertility in mares. In most cases, CEM can be successfully treated with disinfectants and antibiotics.

As new information about import/export protocols or the CEM outbreak becomes available, the Breeds & Industry Division of Equine Canada will issue updates to Canadian stakeholders. All updates can be found at http://equinecanada.ca/industry/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&sectionid=100&id=232&Itemid=12.

On February 7, 2009, at 9:30 a.m., a CFIA representative will provide an update on CEM at the Breeds & Industry Delegate Assembly at the Equine Canada Convention in Ottawa. Everyone is welcome to attend. More information about the Equine Canada Convention may be found equinecanada.ca .


About Equine Canada Breeds & Industry Division

Equine Canada Breeds & Industry Division provides a structure for the more than 40 breed organizations operating in Canada to unite as a coalition under the national federation of Equine Canada. It provides a forum from which to seek and exchange information between Equine Canada, Canadian stakeholders, the Government of Canada and foreign entities. The Breeds & Industry Division works to promote and assist a vibrant equine industry and to affect policy in Canada. Breed organizations and industry partners share resources and expertise with unity of purpose to increase the long-term profitability of Canada's equine sector and ensure its future viability. Visit equinecanada.ca for complete information about the Equine Canada Breeds & Industry Division.

About Equine Canada

Equine Canada is a member-based association that represents, promotes and services Canada's equine community and industry. Its core areas of activity involve sport, equine health and welfare, education and safety, governance and marketing, representation and communication. Equine Canada is recognized by Sport Canada, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the International Equestrian Federation (FEI), the Canadian Olympic Committee and Canadian Coaching Association of Canada as the national organization representing equestrian sport and equine interests in Canada. For more information about Equine Canada, please visit equinecanada.ca.