Canada's Chief Veterinary Officer recognizes Canada's veterinary community during Animal Health Week 2021


October 5, 2021 – Ottawa, Ontario

Dr. Mary Jane Ireland, Canada's Chief Veterinary Officer (CVO), today issued the following statement in recognition of Canada's veterinary community during Animal Health Week:

"The COVID-19 pandemic underlines the importance of One Health, an approach that recognizes the connectedness of human health, animal health, and environmental health. During Animal Health Week, from October 3 to 9, 2021, the veterinary community is focusing on One Health and the integral role veterinarians play in protecting the health and safety of animals, people, and the environment.

At the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), our veterinarians and scientists work closely with Canadian and international organizations, like the Council of Chief Veterinary Officers (CCVO), Public Health Agency of Canada, Canadian Veterinary Medical Association, World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and the agri-food industry to protect Canadians, Canada's animals and plants, and their shared environment.

Over the last year, this has involved researching the susceptibility of animals to SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19), delivering scientific expertise to cases of SARS-CoV-2 on mink farms in British Columbia, providing confirmatory testing on animal samples at the CFIA's National Centre for Foreign Animal Diseases (NCFAD) laboratory, as well as developing national guidance for managing SARS-CoV-2 infections.

The CFIA, with support from provinces and industry, developed a strong application that helped Canada achieve negligible risk status for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) with the OIE. This achievement reflects CFIA's efforts to prevent and control the spread of domestic and foreign animal diseases.

Earlier this year, the CFIA introduced updates to the import requirements for commercial dogs less than 8 months of age for breeding and resale. These updates responded to issues related to import requirement compliance, including animal welfare concerns, and followed an investigation into a large shipment of puppies from Ukraine. The CFIA also collaborated with international and domestic organizations to raise awareness about the potential public and animal health risks of importing dogs.

These are just some of the recent accomplishments of CFIA veterinarians and scientists.

On behalf of the CFIA, I would like to recognize the contributions that the veterinary community, both public and private, make every day to protect animal health, which in turn, protects everyone's health."

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