Facilities Handling Aquatic Animal Pathogens

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The Containment Standards for Facilities Handling Aquatic Animal Pathogens describe the minimum acceptable physical and operational requirements for facilities working with imported aquatic animal pathogens. These standards may also be used as a resource for the design and operating requirements for any aquatic animal containment facility.

The Containment Standards for Facilities Handling Aquatic Animal Pathogens came into effect on January 1, 2011. Import permits will only be issued to facilities certified to the appropriate physical and operational requirements described in the Standard. To obtain an import permit, an application form must be completed and submitted to the CFIA's OBCS.

Biocontainment and Certification Program

The Biocontainment and Certification Program's objective is to ensure high containment facilities are in compliance with Canadian physical and operational containment requirements. The purpose of the program is to:

  • Advise laboratories and other types of high containment facilities on the appropriate handling and containment of aquatic animal pathogens;
  • Advise on the planning, development, operation and certification of containment facilities;
  • Certify and perform inspections of high containment facilities handling or importing aquatic animal pathogen facilities (AQC2 in vivo and AQC3);
  • Perform annual re-certification for AQC2 in vivo and AQC3 facilities.

If you currently operate a facility which handles imported aquatic animal pathogens or if you are building a new facility, please contact the OBCS early in the planning phase..Please complete Form A-AQ which provides the OBCS with details on the facility such as the address, contact information, program intent and work objectives. Once this form is returned to the OBCS, a Biosafety Specialist will review the information provided to determine the required Aquatic Containment (AQC) level and provide recommendations on how to attain the desired AQC level.

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