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  • Federal, provincial, and local regulations regarding animal transportation must be followed. 

  • Risks and benefits for all animals affected by the transport program must be carefully weighed. 

  • Biosecurity and emergency medical protocols must be followed.  

  • Long-distance and cross-border transport, or transport of a large number of animals, requires special planning, and particular attention must be paid to biosecurity and the well-being of the animals. 


Responsibilities of Participating Individuals and Organizations 


  • Contingency plans must be made prior to transport.  

  • A contact person must be identified at each transfer point. 

  • Animals destined for transport must be vaccinated prior to or upon intake at the organization of origin. If animals are transported from a remote location before official intake at an organization, they should be appropriately quarantined throughout and vaccinated as soon as possible. Vaccination requirements in Chapter 6 Medical Health and Physical Well-Being must be followed.  

  • In addition to any examinations required by provincial or federal regulations, all animals being transported must be examined within 24 hours of transport for any problems. 

  • Information on the health and behaviour of animals – as known at the source – must be accurately described and communicated to everyone involved. 

  • For animals originating in a rescue or shelter, clearly written health records that describe health status and identify animals (health certificate, vaccination certificate, and a copy of rescue record) must accompany each animal. 

  • During transport, animals must have adequate space, comfortable environmental conditions, and good air quality.  

  • Records must be kept for all stages of the transport process. 

  • Primary enclosures must be large enough for animals to stand and sit erect, to turn around normally while standing, and to lie in a normal position. 

  • Unfamiliar animals must not be transported together in the same primary enclosure.

  • If more than one animal is in the primary enclosure, there must be enough space for each occupant to lie down comfortably at the same time without needing to lie on top of one another. 

  • The enclosure must be sturdy and permit adequate ventilation. 

  • Flooring must prevent injury, discomfort, and leakage of fluids into other enclosures. 

  • Animals must be safely and securely confined within the enclosure. 

  • Doors on the primary enclosures used for transport (e.g. vehicle doors, U-Haul, back of truck) must be secured.   

  • Extra care must be provided when transporting young animals, including prevention of exposure to temperature extremes, maintenance of adequate hydration and nutrition, and protection from infectious disease exposure during the transport process. 

  • If animals are medicated, veterinary guidance must be provided for their care. 

  • Vehicles must adhere to all federal and local statutes. 

  • Each primary enclosure must be positioned in the animal cargo space in a manner that provides protection from the weather and extremes of temperature. 

  • Fresh air free of exhaust fumes must be ensured. 

  • Attention must be paid to the provision of shade, because even in comfortable temperatures, a vehicle parked in full sun can rapidly exceed safe temperature levels. 

  • The vehicle driver or animal attendant must have sufficient training in animal health, welfare, and safety issues to recognize and respond to animal needs during transport. 

  • All dogs and cats must be observed and allowed to rest at appropriate intervals. 

  • Food must be provided at least every 24 hours for adults and more frequently for animals under six months old. 

  • If water is not available at all times, it must be provided at observation stops.

  • Animal enclosures must be cleaned and any litter replaced as often as necessary to prevent soiling of the animals from vomit, urine, or feces. 

  • If it is necessary to remove animals in order to clean, safeguards must be in place to ensure animal safety and prevent escape, and to ensure that biosecurity is maintained. 

  • Points of destination must have enough trained personnel ready to receive and evaluate animals upon arrival. 

  • The receiving facility must have adequate housing prepared for the arriving animals.




  • Crates and cages stacked upon each other in a manner that increases animal stress and discomfort, compromises ventilation, allows waste material to fall from the cage above into the cage below, interferes with care and observation, or hinders emergency removal. 

  • The transport of unconfined or tethered animals in the back of an open pickup truck.  

Pregnant and Neonatal Animals

  • Avoid transportation for late-stage pregnant animals. 

  • Late-stage pregnant animals should stay in province until they can be transported safely. 

  • Puppies under the age of 8 weeks must be transported with their mother. 

  • All animals should only be transported under the advice of a veterinarian.  

  • If animals are going across a border, they should be vaccinated at their place of origin. 


​Transporting unfit/compromised animals:

Contingency plan and template:


Responsible parties during transport:

Checklist for animal transport:

Pregnant andNeonatal Animals
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