ANIMAL HEALTH CANADA
The Canadian Pork Council along with the meat, dairy, poultry industries and many processors want to do more to protect their business, farms and the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of Canadians from the risk of major, multi-species border-closing infectious disease events.
Building on direction from federal, provincial and territorial governments in the National Plant and Animal Health Strategy, several industry leaders have agreed to champion the development of “Animal Health Canada”, a new governance model built on industry-government partnership in decision making, resource sharing and program management.
The goal is to strengthen Canada’s capacity for animal disease prevention, preparedness, response and recovery by reducing fragmentation of accountabilities, ensuring greater sustainability in resource commitments, increasing the timeliness of action and planning more effectively for the future.
A sustainable agriculture and agri-food sector strengthened by an inclusive industry-government partnership protecting the health and wellbeing of farmed animals.
Animal Health Canada provides leadership in building a collaborative, multi-partner model that clarifies the respective roles, responsibilities and accountabilities of each partner in implementing an animal health strategy for Canada, beginning with emergency management.
Animal Health Canada Overview
Animal agriculture is vital to Canada’s food production and our nation’s prosperity. The government has identified agriculture as a primary industry for growth and exports for Canada, with the Agri-Food Economic Strategy Table recommendations to increase ag exports to at least $85 billion annually by 2025. The Strategy recommends strengthening the Canadian Agri-Food Sector by building “an agile regulatory system that supports innovation, provides certainty to industry, and protects health and safety”. The importance of effective animal disease prevention, preparedness, response and recovery programming is essential to meeting that objective. Animal Health Canada believes a collaborative new animal health strategy is the best delivery mechanism for that programming.
Animal Health Canada provides a new collaborative approach to animal health management. We envision developing a holistic, results-driven governance model for animal health that will better ensure the health and wellbeing of Canada’s farmed animals. The strategy will be informed and shaped with input and shared values of the livestock production value chain and federal, provincial, and territorial partners.
Demonstration of an effective collaborative approach may also enhance public trust regarding food safety, zoonotic diseases, antimicrobial stewardship, and animal care. It is important that government and industry align on the Animal Health Canada approach. Sharing resources will ensure effective implementation of programs and emergency response operations and improve vital capacities and scientific infrastructure.
Through consultation, gathering, analyzing and interpreting evidence, and discussion Animal Health Canada Working Group participants will generate recommendations and develop new partnership in support of a results-driven governance model for emergency response and animal health issues. The recommendations will focus on:
- Alignment of respective organizational responsibilities as well as legal and financial systems for accountable program delivery in areas such as disease surveillance, biosecurity standards and disease prevention, diagnostic capacity building, animal traceability/premises ID systems, emergency response operations, financial recovery framework, human resource capacity building, and animal health scientific infrastructure; and
- Leading initiatives to bring industry and government bodies (federal, provincial and territorial) into partnership(s) regarding resource-sharing and actions to be taken to maintain an evergreen animal health strategy for Canada for the management of programs in priority areas as agreed.
PROGRESS TO DATE and NEXT STEPS
If you would like additional information on Animal Health Canada, or if a representative from your organization would like to participate in the Animal Health Canada working group, please feel free to contact Megan Bergman at email@example.com