Government of Canada Hits Play on New Video to Protect Canadian Consumers and Farmers

OTTAWA, October 5, 2010 : As part of the Government of Canada’s efforts to improve food safety and protect the agriculture industry in Canada, Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and Dr. Brian Evans, Chief Food Safety Officer and Chief Veterinary Officer of Canada, announced the launch of a new "Be Aware and Declare!" video, to educate Canadians and tourists on the importance of declaring all foods, plants and animals when entering Canada.

"Canadian farmers work hard to maintain the highest, science-based on-farm production practices so that they can deliver safe, top quality food to kitchen tables around the world," said Minister Ritz during the event at the Ottawa International Airport today. "We are investing in another year of this campaign to remind travellers to do their part and declare all foods, plants and animals when visiting or returning to Canada."

The "Be Aware and Declare!" campaign is in its fifth successful year of reminding Canadians returning home from abroad and foreign travellers that Canadian law requires them to declare all food, plants, animals and related products when entering Canada.

"We live in a world where disease and pest occurrence is dynamic. Protecting our animal, and plant resources, and Canada’s eco-systems and biodiversity, requires vigilance in addressing all identified risk pathways" notes Dr. Evans. "Animal health, plant health and public health─these all require a community effort."

The new 30-second public service announcement highlights the important role that travellers play in protecting Canada’s agricultural industry, environment and food supply. It is available online and will also appear in some Canadian airports and on incoming internationals flights on partner airlines. The video is available in French, English, and 10 other languages to inform visitors and Canadians alike.

Minister Ritz and Dr. Evans also acknowledged the joint efforts of government, airlines, transport and travel industries as they work together to protect Canadians and the agriculture sector.

To view the new video and learn more about the campaign, go to: www.beaware.gc.ca.

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For more information, contact:

Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Media Relations: 613-773-6600

Brian Evans, Claudia Simoneau, Gerry Ritz
Dr. Brian Evans, Chief Food Safety Officer and Chief Veterinary Officer for Canada, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Claudia Simoneau, Canada Border Services Agency, Hunter, detector dog, Canada Border Services Agency, and the Honourable Gerry Ritz Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food