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    An analysis of Canada's declared live wildlife imports and implications for zoonotic disease risk

    Hamers, Michèle, Elwin, Angie, Collard, Rosemary-Claire, Shepherd, Chris R, Coulthard, Emma ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8935-9092, Norrey, John, Megson, David ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8881-3860 and D'Cruze, Neil (2023) An analysis of Canada's declared live wildlife imports and implications for zoonotic disease risk. FACETS, 8. pp. 1-18. ISSN 2371-1671

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    In Canada, there have been calls for increased research into and surveillance of wildlife trade and associated zoonotic disease risks. We provide the first comprehensive analysis of Canadian live wildlife imports over a 7-year period (2014–2020), based on data from federal government databases obtained via Access to Information requests. A total of 1 820 313 individual animals (including wild-caught and captive-bred animals but excluding fish, invertebrates, Columbiformes (pigeons), and Galliformes (game birds)), from 1028 documented import records, were imported into Canada during 2014–2020. Birds were the most imported taxonomic class (51%), followed by reptiles (28%), amphibians (19%), and mammals (2%). In total, 22 taxonomic orders from 79 countries were recorded as imported. Approximately half of the animals (49%) were imported for the exotic pet market. Based on existing literature and a review of the Canadian regulatory apparatus, we gesture to these importations' potential implications for zoonotic disease risk and discuss potential biosecurity challenges at the Canadian border. Finally, we identify data gaps that prevent an extensive assessment of the zoonotic disease risk of live wildlife imports. We recommend data collection for all wildlife importation and improved coordination between agencies to accurately assess zoonotic disease risk.

    Impact and Reach


    Activity Overview
    6 month trend
    6 month trend

    Additional statistics for this dataset are available via IRStats2.


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