OTTAWA, ONTARIO – The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has been granted increased enforcement authority to impose fines for violations to the Health of Animals Act by mistreating and improperly transporting livestock.

Effective immediately, first-time offenders can be fined up to a maximum of $10,000 through CFIA's administrative monetary penalties (AMPs). CFIA will also have the ability to look back into the past five years of the offender's history with the ability to increase fines by up to 50% of the maximum fine for repeat offenders.

"Hog producers spend their time raising hogs and want to ensure animals arrive at packing plants in the best condition possible," said Jurgen Preugschas, chair of the Canadian Pork Council. "Producers raise their animals following high standards to ensure a healthy, safe and high-quality product and it is in the producer's best interest to maintain this through transportation."

Provincial producer organizations have worked with their members and transporters to ensure conditions for animal travel are appropriate. Many hog producers and hog transporters have taken specialized training courses addressing the specific needs of animals in transport. This includes training staff on how to handle pigs, load and unload pigs, account for weather conditions, be prepared for emergency responses, etc for animal welfare purposes.

"Producers are aware of animal-care issues and know that healthy animals mean a healthy industry," Jurgen added. "In fact, the industry had developed an on-farm animal-care program, which has helped raise awareness of the importance of animal handling in all aspects of production."