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National Farmed Animal Health Strategy Expected

by 5m Editor
8 July 2009, at 12:46pm

CANADA - The Chief veterinary officer for Manitoba expects a new National Farmed Animal Health Strategy to be rolled out within the next year, writes Bruce Cochrane.

The National Farmed Animal Health Strategy, developed by a group of provincial and federal chief veterinary officers with input from industry is a blueprint for addressing emerging animal health issues.

Dr. Wayne Lees told those on hand yesterday for Canadian Swine Health Forum 2009, because these diseases are emerging we don't know very much about them and we have many different players involved so it makes it difficult to know who takes what role.

Dr. Wayne Lees-Manitoba Agriculture Food and Rural Initiatives

In terms of our constitutional division of powers, in human health the major powers lie with the provinces but we do have national coordinating bodies such as the Public Health Agency of Canada and Health Canada that help to create a coordinated response across the country.

In terms of animal health issues it's a split jurisdiction between the federal agencies like the CFIA and the provincial agriculture departments so we have to create a little different model in terms of how do we work together to make sure there are no gaps or overlaps?

Obviously when we're dealing either with a new disease or something that is not well defined in terms of policy we need to come together with a coordinated approach.

So there will be diseases that are primarily animal health issues and industry really should be the lead on those.

There are disease that are the foreign animals disease type or trade issues and that's really a national lead.

Then there are other diseases where we have to work together with provincial public health people and that sort of thing and really the provinces are well suited to that.


Dr. Lees points out diseases such as influenza affect not only people but also pigs and poultry so the various agencies need to work together to manage animal health issues such that we're protecting human health.