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Bison born after January 1, 1999 are now allowed into Canada for slaughter and breeding purposes under certain conditions.

The current prohibition regulation which prevents the introduction into Canada of animals or products that would pose a risk of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) was due to expire on June 30, 2006. The CFIA has determined that it is appropriate to replace this regulation with a new one which further narrows the prohibitions but continues to prohibit those commodities that are still considered to pose a risk at this time.

The new regulation no longer prohibits bovines born after January 1, 1999 (with certification) nor over thirty months old (OTM) meat (with conditions).  Prohibitions (with exemptions) remain in effect for specified risk materials (SRM), sheep and goats and animal feeds and fertilizers.

As a general practice, Canada’s animal health import restrictions are reviewed on an ongoing basis to ensure they reflect the most current scientific information, remain effective and do not impose unwarranted trade barriers. In the context of BSE, import controls are one component of a suite of safeguards that protects human and animal health from BSE. Other measures include feed controls, surveillance testing and the removal of high-risk tissues from all animals slaughtered for human consumption.

As it will take some time for the US to amend their certificates and distribute the information to all States, we have been requested to wait a few weeks before trying to bring bison into Canada.