Surveillance Identified as Key to Protecting Against Foreign Animal Disease

by 5m Editor
17 February 2004, at 12:00am

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 1448. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.

Manitoba Pork Council

Farm-Scape is sponsored by
Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork

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Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council
and Sask Pork.

Farm-Scape, Episode 1448

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says the ability of a nation to maintain its meat exports will depend on its ability to identify and track the movement of livestock in the event of a foreign animal disease outbreak.

Outbreaks of Foot and Mouth disease in Europe, incidents of BSE in North American and the spread of Avian Influenza have heightened awareness of the risk of the inadvertent introduction of a foreign animal disease.

CFIA National Manager of Animal Disease Surveillance Dr. John Keller says, since the 1995 formation of the World Trade Organization, importations have increased sharply.

"Under the sanitary and phytosanitary provisions, nations are expected to have in place a surveillance approach which can establish the health status of their livestock populations.

It's difficult to do that if you don't have some means of ascribing the origin of the animals that you find diseased at any given point.

Certainly I look upon animal identification as being a key driver in Canada or any other nation being able to establish, defensibly, the health status of its livestock populations in support of trade.

We've mitigated the challenges of increased trade with a very strong infrastructural response, irrespective of all the risk assessments that might be conducted, the inadvertent entry of a foreign animal disease or some other kind of pest".

Dr. Keller says the destruction of massive numbers of livestock that resulted from outbreaks in Europe, in Asia and elsewhere has heightened public awareness of the issue.

He says the response has been the creation of infrastructures that will limit the distribution of disease following detection and allow a more rapid and targeted approach to eradication.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

5m Editor