Traceability and Transporting Alberta Horses

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 Livestock traceability – protecting an industry | Transportation regulations | Alberta livestock manifests | Livestock permits | Special permits


Livestock Traceability – Protecting an Industry

Livestock traceability is the process of tracking individual or groups of livestock and poultry throughout their lifetime. Tracking this information is important when responding to emergencies such as disease outbreaks, floods or fires because traceability systems help determine where livestock are, where they have been and what other livestock they have could have potentially come into contact with.

Movement recording is essential to an effective traceability system. With accurate movement records, industry and government are able to identify and contain disease-exposed animals more quickly, which reduces the risk of the disease spreading to other animals.

Complying with regulations for moving livestock is part of responsible animal management that helps protect the health of your animals as well as those of other Alberta and Canadian producers. Traceability in Alberta is authorized under Alberta’s Animal Health Act. Alberta Agriculture and Forestry (AF) works with industry and all levels of government to advance traceability in Alberta and Canada.

Transportation Regulations

In Alberta, horses must be transported in accordance with Alberta’s Livestock Identification and Commerce Act (LICA). Under LICA, the term “horses” is used to include members of the Equidae family such as horses, donkeys and their crosses. Depending on the purpose of the transportation, horses may require an Alberta Livestock Manifest, Livestock Permit or Special Permit. Alberta’s delegated authority, Livestock Identification Services Ltd. (LIS), is responsible for all transportation documentation under LICA.

Alberta Agriculture and Forestry’s approved Premises Identification Numbers (PID)are to be recorded on Alberta Livestock Manifests, Livestock Permits and Special Permits to assist with trace backs in a disease outbreak. On Alberta Livestock Manifests, livestock owners/dealers are to record the PID Number of where the livestock are being transported from and the receiver is to record the PID Number of the end destination.

Photo credit: CGI Photography

Alberta Livestock Manifests

Alberta Livestock Manifests are used to document the movement of horses. An Alberta Livestock Manifest is required to transport or drive horses within Alberta if the horses are being transported to an inspection site or are being transported for sale or slaughter.

A copy of each Alberta Livestock Manifest must be kept by the owner, the transporter and the person receiving the horses for 10 years from the date the manifest is completed.

Alberta Livestock Manifest books are supplied by LIS and are available throughout the province from LIS Field Offices, livestock (auction) markets and AF Field Offices.

Livestock Permits

Livestock Permits are issued by LIS Livestock Inspectors. All horses transported or driven from an inspection site (other than a feedlot or an uninspected country sale) to a destination in Alberta, or from an originating point in Alberta to a destination outside Alberta, must be accompanied by a Livestock Permit unless:
  • the horses are being transported under a Special Permit (see next section for details) and are not being transported to an inspection site, or for sale or slaughter;
  • the horses are accompanied by an Alberta Livestock Manifest and are being transported to an approved inspection site in Saskatchewan or British Columbia where they will be inspected upon arrival; or
  • the requirement for a Livestock Permit has been waived by LIS in accordance with an exemption allowed under LICA. To learn about the exceptions under LICA, refer to the legislation at

Photo credit: Government of Alberta

Livestock Permits authorize a single movement of livestock from the location where the animal was inspected to the destination described on the Livestock Permit. A Livestock Permit expires seven days after the date it was issued or when the horses are delivered to their destination, whichever is earlier.

A copy of each Livestock Permit must be kept by the owner, transporter, the person receiving the horses and LIS for 10 years from the date the Livestock Permit is issued.

Special Permits

Special Permits are issued by LIS Livestock Inspectors and include the following:
  • Annual Rodeo and Exhibition Permits
  • Annual Horse Permits
  • Lifetime Horse Permits
The Annual Rodeo and Exhibition Permits and the Annual Horse Permits are used to transport horses outside Alberta more than once in a calendar year. These permits expire on December 31 of the year in which they are issued.

A Lifetime Horse Permit allows an owner to transport a horse outside Alberta multiple times during its lifetime. Lifetime Horse Permits expire when there is a change of horse ownership or when the horse dies.

Special Permits cannot be used to transport horses to an inspection site, or for sale or slaughter.

Photo credit: Mike Copeman Photography

Transporting Out-of-province Horses in Alberta

The Alberta Livestock Manifest and Livestock Permit requirements of LICA do not apply to persons who transport horses into or through Alberta from an originating point outside Alberta so long as:
  • the originating jurisdiction requires the horses to be accompanied with documentation to be transported out of that jurisdiction; and
  • the horses are accompanied with that documentation.
The exemption that allows horses to move into or through Alberta on out-of-province documentation expires when the horses stop in Alberta for a purpose other than rest or when they are required to be inspected in Alberta.

If out-of-province horses stop in Alberta for a purpose other than rest, the location where the horses stop should be considered the originating point when completing an Alberta Livestock Manifest or requesting a Livestock Permit.

Source: Agdex 460/843-1. September 2013.
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For more information about the content of this document, contact Kelly Corbett.
This document is maintained by Jennifer Rutter.
This information published to the web on October 29, 2013.
Last Reviewed/Revised on December 20, 2017.