On Wednesday, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) published amendments to the Health of Animals Regulations on animal transportation.

The overall objective is that animals arrive at their destination safely, and are suitably fed, hydrated and rested.

"As a veterinarian, I am happy to say that Canada has improved the well-being of animals during the entire transportation process," said Dr. Jaspinder Komal, Canada's Chief Veterinary Officer. "The changes to the humane transport regulations better align Canada's requirements with international partners (for example the United States, Australia and the European Union), as well as the OIE's animal welfare standards for animals transported by land, air and sea."

The amendments come after extensive consultations with farm groups, transporters, members of the public and interested groups. They also take into account the latest research on animal transportation and international standards.

The CFIA says the amendments will increase consumer confidence, strengthen Canada's international trade status and facilitate market access. The agency notes approximately 98% of shipments are already in compliance with the new food, water and rest requirements.

The new regulations will come into effect next February.

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