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Update: Import Alert: Pre-Shipment Approval and Destination Inspection for Calf-Only Shipments from Canada

Issuance Date: February 28, 2022

Effective Date: Immediately

In addition to the pre-shipping approval required for Canadian calf-only shipments, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is conducting a pilot program for imports containing only Canadian feeder calves (bob calves) under 21 days old. The number of these imports is increasing, with new issues finding coverage for the destination inspections. Importers have indicated they prefer border inspection and release of the import shipments as they enter the United States if possible, to contain costs and reduce the time involved with destination inspections.

The pilot program will evaluate alternatives to inspections currently conducted at the destination locations for this type of import. Participants will have inspections at the following APHIS-approved land border ports currently designated for this project:

⦁ Highgate, VT (⦁ Alexandria Bay, NY ()⦁ Niagara Falls, NY ()

Destination inspections will also continue at these land border ports for importers not in the pilot program for bob calf imports. Interested stakeholders may contact these ports.

Pilot program requirements:

  1. Calves must have two official ear tags, similar to Canadian-origin bison imported to the United States: one Radio Frequency Identification tag and one visual-only tag, both with the same animal number.
  2. APHIS will confirm at least 20 percent identification verification for each load and each shipment must meet all requirements for the import of bovines from Canada, including the required country mark.
  3. Calves deemed unfit for shipping by APHIS (i.e., poor condition, non-ambulatory) may result in the entire load being refused.
  4. The importer will incur standard user fees associated with Canadian feeder calf inspections ($2.50/head).
  5. The importer will provide handling assistance to the APHIS staff for verifying compliance.
  6. Loads that cannot be inspected at the port of entry will need to follow protocol for destination inspections.

Further guidance and updates can be found on the APHIS website.

For questions, please contact USDA APHIS Veterinary Services at: 301-801-3300, Option 2 or .