Importing Horses from the United States


This article is courtesy of The Horse Industry Association of Alberta

3horses-isolated-300Canadians are reminded to check Canada’s import requirements before arriving at the border with their horses. Import requirements are in place to protect human and animal health and may change at any time in response to an animal disease outbreak in another country. Failure to meet import requirements could result in delays at the border, or denial of entry.

New import requirements are in place in response to the recent outbreak of Vesicular Stomatitis (VS) in the United States (U.S.). Canadian horses that have been in a VS-infected state may only return to Canada if they move to a non-infected state and reside there for at least 21 days. Certification by the U.S. Department of Agriculture is required. Some U.S. states have put controls in place in response to the outbreak. Travellers should check state requirements before moving their horses.

It is important to note that after 60 days residency in the U.S., Canadian origin horses lose their Canadian status for import purposes and are considered U.S. origin horses.

In certain cases, horses may need to be inspected by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) at the border. If an inspection is required, it is the importer’s responsibility to arrange an appointment at least 24 hours before their expected arrival at the border. This ensures a veterinarian is available for the inspection and minimizes delays.

Information on animal import requirements can be found in the CFIA’s automated import reference system (AIRS). To receive the latest AIRS updates, sign up online for e-mail notifications.

Travellers should contact a CFIA district office for the latest information, including the latest list of affected states, before leaving or returning to Canada as import requirements can change at any time and may not be immediately reflected in AIRS.

Travellers are also reminded that steps should be taken to protect animals during transport, especially in extreme temperatures. For more information, please visit our page on humane transport and animal welfare.

Read the full notice from CFIA here.