Canada collaborates with international partners to address companion animal import issues


October 6, 2022 – Ottawa, Ontario

Dr. Mary Jane Ireland, Canada's Chief Veterinary Officer (CVO):

As part of Animal Health Week, from October 2 to 8, 2022, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) along with the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) and Canada's veterinary community are focusing their ongoing work together in support of efforts to prevent the spread of animal diseases under this year's theme: Habitat Protection and Pandemic Prevention.

The COVID-19 pandemic has underlined the interconnectedness of the world and the importance of One Health, an approach that recognizes the close relationship between human health, animal health, and environmental health.

The CFIA's veterinarians and scientists work closely with Canadian and international organizations, like the CVMA, the Council of Chief Veterinary Officers (CCVO), Public Health Agency of Canada, and the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) to protect Canadians, Canada's animals and their shared environment.

The CFIA is also collaborating with the Animal Health Quads Alliance:

"The Animal Health Quads Alliance, which includes the competent authorities for animal health in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Canada, is working together to address shared concerns regarding biosecurity risks and increased detection of non-compliance in companion animal movements, including fraudulent certification. The Alliance has convened a Companion Animal Trade Compliance Network of technical experts to share intelligence and experience in identifying and responding to the current increase in biosecurity risks from animals infected with diseases not present in the importing country, such as canine rabies".

Canada is concerned with the risk of introducing dog rabies, especially considering the increase in dog imports and imported cases of dog rabies in recent years. Issues of non-compliance in companion animal movements, including fraudulent documentation, is a shared concern for Canada and our international partners.

Focusing on import standards that prevent disease introduction or disease spread (especially zoonotic diseases) by implementing measures, such as Canada's prohibition on the entry of commercial dogs from countries at high-risk for dog rabies, is one way to help keep our animals, people, and communities safe.

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