Effective January 30, 2009, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency has announced that an import permit is now required for the importation of semen and embryos from the U.S. into Canada. These revised import restrictions are a result of the expanding investigation into Contagious Equine Metritis (CEM) in the U.S.
Canadians seeking timely information regarding import requirements are advised to use the CFIA’s Automated Import Reference System (AIRS), which can be accessed by clicking here.
Instructions for Canadian Importers of Semen and Embryos from the US into Canada:
(1) Notify immediately the companies/agents/owners in the U.S. that you wish to acquire semen or embryos from and inform them that a USDA-endorsed zoosanitary export certificate MUST accompany all shipments from the U.S. to Canada. For more information and to obtain the required certificate, click here
(2) Before semen is shipped, importers in Canada must obtain an import permit from the CFIA. To download an Import Permit Application Form for Live Animals, Semen, Embryos, Animal Products and By-Products, visit the CFIA website by clicking here.
(a) The Import Permit Application Form is to be completed by the importer.
(b) Next, contact a CFIA area office ( a complete list of CFIA offices can be found at the end of this release). The completed application must be faxed or mailed with payment to the Import Office in the province you reside in or into which you will be importing the semen or embryos. CFIA have given Equine Canada assurances that you will be contacted by the Import Office within three (3) days of receipt of the application form with information on how to proceed.
(c) Single entry (one time) permits cost $35. Multiple entry permits are valid for one year and cost $60. An agent or broker may use this method to do combined shipments of multiple stallions and/or exporters and/or destinations. To reference the responsibilities of Brokers, visit the CFIA website by clicking here.
In its investigation of CEM in the US, the USDA has undertaken an extensive traceback exercise to identify and locate all horses in the U.S. that have been exposed to the CEM positive stallions either through direct contact or collected semen. For more information, click here.
CEM is a reportable disease in Canada and the U.S. This means that all suspected cases in Canada must be reported to the CFIA for immediate investigation by inspectors. CEM is a highly contagious disease that affects the reproductive tract of horses. The disease can cause temporary infertility in mares. In most cases, CEM can be successfully treated with disinfectants and antibiotics.
On February 7, 2009, at 9:30 a.m., a CFIA representative will provide an update on CEM at the Breeds & Industry Delegate Assembly at the Equine Canada Convention taking place at the Crowne Plaza in Ottawa, ON. Everyone is welcome to attend. More information about the Equine Canada Convention may be found by clicking here.
As new information about import/export protocols or the CEM outbreak becomes available, the Breeds & Industry Division of Equine Canada will issue updates to Canadian stakeholders. All updates can be found by clicking here.