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Canadian Animal Health Coalition Urges Proactive Approach to Foreign Animal Disease

by 5m Editor
23 April 2003, at 12:00am

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 1226. 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 1226

The Canadian Animal Health Coalition is urging government and livestock industry stakeholders to cooperate in a proactive approach to dealing with the threat of foreign animal disease.

An economic impact assessment of foot and mouth disease in Canada indicates even a small outbreak would cost 13 billion dollars but losses could go as high 45 billion dollars and knock Canada out of the international market for a year.

Canadian Animal Health Coalition Executive Director Matt Taylor says effective control practices or zoning strategies could potentially cut the economic impact of an outbreak in half.

"Those strategies are going to rely on government-industry partnerships. We've got to do it in advance, we've got to do it very well and it's going to take government and industry money.

What we're proposing is the 'Canadian Animal Health Emergency Management Strategy.' The broad definition of the activities covered in the project, and really these sort of hit on what industry's role is, and that's enhancing communication and education and awareness, coordination-decision making across commodities, planning and information management, operational infrastructure, things like GIS and biosecurity standards and providing policy advice.

Really the point here is that we need to be able to make effective rapid decisions across the commodities. It's not going to do us any good if we have to figure out what those standards are at the time.

We need to have that information in the hands of producers or on the web well in advance."

Taylor says, with the way industry and government have evolved right now, none of those control or zoning practices will work well.

He says the goal is to communicate to decision makers the importance of animal health and to ensure producers understand their role in biosecurity.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

5m Editor