Animals in transit

Animals in transit


Position statement:

Humane Canada™ recognizes that hundreds of millions of animals are transported within Canada each year. The vast majority of these animals are ultimately used for human consumption, while others are used for research, sport, entertainment and companionship. These animals are transported by aircraft, marine vessels or land carriers.

In order to protect the welfare of animals in transit, Humane Canada™ advocates adherence to the following principles:

  • animals shall have priority over merchandise
  • all persons accepting shipping or carrying of live animals shall be fully familiar with all packing and care-giving requirements for all animals in their care
  • no animal shall be transported in a way that is likely to cause suffering
  • animals in transit shall be protected from extreme fluctuations in environment, such as heat or cold
  • animals shall be provided with sufficient ventilation but shall not be exposed to strong drafts
  • only animals in good health shall be transported (except when transport is necessary to provide the animals with veterinary treatment)
  • no animals obviously in advanced stages of pregnancy, or animals which have recently given birth, shall be transported (except when transport is necessary to provide the animals with veterinary treatment)
  • all animals shall be transported in vehicles and/or containers and conditions appropriate to their species
  • animals of different species shall not be transported in the same container
  • unless animals of the same species are known to be compatible with other animals, they shall not be transported in the same container
  • sedation shall only be administered under exceptional circumstances and shall be carried out by an authorized, qualified veterinarian
  • animals which become sick or injured during transport shall receive veterinary treatment as soon as possible; if necessary, they shall be humanely destroyed
  • when feasible, sick or dead animals shall be removed from containers carrying groups of animals
  • animals shall not be transported along with substances dangerous to their health
  • all journeys shall be as short as possible in terms of time and distance traveled
  • advance transit planning and proper labelling of vehicles and containers are essential

Humane Canada™ supports animal transport regulations (CITES, IATA, etc.) which address the needs of animals in transit and advocates special training and licencing for professional handlers and drivers of livestock vehicles.

Humane Canada™ is opposed to the import/export of live food animals for fattening or slaughter and urges the adoption of a carcass-only trade.

Animals in transit
Animals in transit
Humane Canada (also known as the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies) is Canada's federation of SPCAs and humane societies, representing the largest animal welfare community in Canada.