Canadian scientists and key international stakeholders discuss ways to reduce biological threats at the second World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) Global Conference on Biological Threat Reduction in Ottawa, Canada

News Release

October 31, 2017 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada, Public Health Agency of Canada, Canadian Food Inspection Agency

International collaboration among scientists, policy makers and stakeholders from a diverse range of sectors is essential to protect human and animal health and to take meaningful action against disease and biological threats. Today, Mr. Paul Glover, President of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), will provide opening remarks at the second World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) Global Conference on Biological Threat Reduction in Ottawa, highlighting the need to maintain vigilance and to work together globally to reduce biological threats.

Canada is a global leader in animal and public health and international efforts to combat biological threats, whether natural, accidental or deliberate in origin. Under the theme of “Enhancing Health and Security for All,” Dr. Jaspinder Komal, the Acting OIE Delegate for Canada and the Acting Chief Veterinary Officer of the CFIA, will chair a keynote panel discussion on global perspectives and health security. Dr. Theresa Tam, Public Health Agency of Canada’s (PHAC) Chief Public Health Officer, will be part of a keynote panel discussing global perspectives on health and security. Mr. Mark Gwozdecky, Assistant Deputy Minister, International Security and Political Affairs, will deliver opening remarks that highlight work undertaken by Global Affairs Canada (GAC) to mitigate bioterrorism threats through the G7-led Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction. Dr. Primal Silva, CFIA’s Chief Science Operating Officer, will present on high containment laboratories that deal with the most dangerous pathogens on the second day of the conference.

Discussions among more than 350 international experts will also focus on mechanisms to reduce biological threats, explore potential dual-use technologies, highlight where sectors have contributed globally to biological threat reduction, and examine the recommendations and activities undertaken since the first Global Conference on Biological Threat Reduction in Paris, France, in July 2015.


“Scientific partnerships and investments are important aspects of protecting the health of Canadians, our environment and the economy. We look forward to finding new ways to build stronger defenses and faster networks that will protect everybody.”

Mr. Paul Glover, President, Canadian Food Inspection Agency

“Naturally occurring disease and bioterrorism threaten us all. Only concerted and coordinated action by stakeholders from around the world and across many sectors will lead to effective reduction of the biological threats we all face.”

Mr. Mark Gwozdecky, Assistant Deputy Minister, International Security and Political Affairs, Global Affairs Canada

“Public health threats in one part of the world can rapidly impact people worldwide. A forum such as this provides an important opportunity for human health, animal health, and security communities to work together and strengthens our ability to recognize and respond to these threats.”

Dr. Theresa Tam, Chief Public Health Officer of Canada, Public Health Agency of Canada

“New issues are emerging and new tools are available for reducing biological threats. In order to better grasp them, this conference will aim to encourage exchanges between the animal health, public health and public safety sectors. In fact, strengthening operational and multi-sectoral synergies is essential for preventing, preparing for and responding to these threats.”

Dr. Monique Eloit, Director General of the World Organisation for Animal Health, Paris, France 

“This conference brings together experts from around the world to discuss and collaborate around some of today’s most challenging issues related to reducing biological threats. I commend the OIE on its leadership in this area and our government colleagues from the CFIA, GAC and PHAC for their participation in continuing the conversation about public health and animal health surveillance programs, here in Canada and around the world.”

– Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Quick Facts

  • The three-day OIE-led conference takes place from October 31 to November 2, 2017, with support from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Global Affairs Canada.

  • The OIE’s mandate is to protect animal health and welfare by promoting international solidarity, setting science-based standards, ensuring transparency and building capacity.

  • Participants attending the conference range from international organizations, to official National Delegates of OIE member countries, to leading scientific experts, donors, and stakeholders from animal production and trade, animal health and welfare, and public health and security communities.

  • OIE’s first Global Conference on Biological Threat Reduction took place in Paris, France, in June 2015.

  • The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) was established in 1924.

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