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Canada to tighten controls on slaughter-bound horses

November 6, 2011

Canada has tightened controls around horses entering the country for slaughter to ensure they are transported humanely.

Tens of thousands of horses cross into Canada from the United States each year bound for horse abattoirs, with no such plants operating in the US.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has announced new measures to verify that horses are being transported humanely in accordance with its Health of Animals Regulations.

From January 1, 2012, shipments of feeder and slaughter horses entering Canada from the US by road will be required to pass through one of eight designated ports of entry.

Shipments will be accepted only during the the agency's regular hours of operation.

The designated ports of entry have appropriate unloading facilities for horses and are staffed by veterinarians working for the agency.

No other Canadian border ports of entry will accept slaughter-bound horses, it said.

Imports of other types of horses, such as riding or breeding horses, are unaffected by the change.

All shipments must be presented during regular agency hours of operation to allow for inspection if required.

Slaughter horse shipments require agency veterinary inspections at the border. Transporters must arrange an appointment for inspection at least 24 hours before arriving at the port of entry.

The eight designated ports of entry are listed in the accompanying graphic.



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