Framework for Implementing and Maintaining the Arrangement between the CFIA and the USDA for the Recognition of Foreign Animal Disease Control and Eradication Zones
Part I - Implementing the Arrangement during an Outbreak

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1. Legal Authority

This section describes the legal authority in Canada and the United States to make zoning decisions for the control and eradication of an HCFAD and recognize the zoning decisions made by appropriate authorities in the other country.

1.1 United States

APHIS receives its permanent and general regulatory authority from the Animal Health Protection Act (AHPA), 7 U.S.C. 8301 et seq. The AHPA authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture to take actions necessary to prevent, detect, control, and eradicate diseases of animals, including FADs, in order to protect animal health, the health and welfare of people, economic interests of livestock and related industries, the environment, and interstate and foreign commerce in animals and other articles. Title 7 of the Code of Federal Regulations, part 371, delegates this authority down to the Deputy Administrator of Veterinary Services.

APHIS and CFIA recognize the APHIS Deputy Administrator of Veterinary Services - who is also the Chief Veterinary Officer (CVO) of the United States - as the appropriate authority to make zoning decisions for the United States and to recognize zoning decisions made by Canada.

1.2 Canada

The CFIA's statutory authority for control of reportable HCFADs is contained in the Health of Animals Act of 1990 (the Act). The CFIA applies the Actand pursuant regulations - including the Health of Animals Regulations, the Reportable Diseases Regulations, and the Compensation for Destroyed Animals Regulations - to regulate animal health and zoonotic disease. The Act provides, among other things, for CFIA control over importation and exportation of animals, quarantine of infected places, and regulation of animal movement.

Under the Act, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada may declare an area to be a primary control zone for a particular disease, and may subsequently declare one or more secondary control zones. The CFIA provides advice to the Minister on zoning decisions and is responsible for enforcing Ministerial declarations in accordance with the Act and pursuant regulations.

The CFIA and APHIS recognize the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada as the appropriate authority to make zoning decisions within Canada and the CVO of Canada as the appropriate authority to recognize zoning decisions made by the United States.

2. Procedures for Recognition of Zoning Decisions

2.1 Notification of HCFAD Confirmation

The United States and Canada will notify each other of any and all confirmed detections of an HCFAD in domestic livestock. An initial communication between CVOs will help to ensure that each organization is sensitized to the ramifications of any public announcements and notification of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). Additional communications will occur between the corresponding import/export, emergency response, and public affairs staffs of each country as necessary. A timely courtesy communication will occur if an HCFAD is detected in pets or wildlife.

The partner country may initially take appropriate action to safeguard animal health in its territory by prohibiting the importation of any animals and commodities that could transmit the disease agent. The extent of the import restrictions may range from a single state or province to the entire country, depending on the disease agent, the apparent magnitude of the outbreak, and other epidemiological factors. The affected country will notify the partner country when an area of control is established (see Section 2.2).

During the outbreak response period, the CVO of the affected country will immediately communicate to the CVO of the partner country any occurrence of the disease outside of an area of control. The partner country may place additional import restrictions until such time as a new area of control is established and reported to the partner country by the CVO of the affected country in accordance with the procedures outlined in Section 2.2.

2.2 Notification and Recognition of an Area of Control

Using the form in Appendix 4, the CVO of the affected country will notify the CVO of the partner country when an area of control is established in the affected country. The form requests information concerning the disease agent, the outbreak(s), and the response policy, as well as a detailed map and description of the area of control boundaries. The CVO of the affected country must certify that the information provided is accurate and complete, and extend an invitation for one or more qualified staff members of the partner country to embed in and monitor the outbreak response (see Section 3).

The CVO of the partner country will review the information provided, countersign the form in the space provided, and return a copy to the CVO of the affected country. S/he will also ensure prompt modification of pertinent import restrictions so that trade between disease-free zones can occur as described in Section 5.

The CVO of the affected country will notify the CVO of the partner country of any modifications to the boundaries of an area of control during the response period, using the form in Appendix 4.

2.3 Release of an Area of Control

The United States and Canada intend to conduct surveillance in a manner consistent with OIE disease-specific guidelines as described in the Terrestrial Animal Health Code prior to release of restrictions on an area of control. The CVO of the affected country will notify the CVO of the partner country when restrictions on an area of control are released, using the form in Appendix 4. Once the CVO of the partner country countersigns to officially recognize the release, s/he will ensure that pertinent remaining import restrictions are lifted promptly.

2.4 Extenuating Circumstances

Canada and the United States anticipate that most HCFAD outbreaks will be small, focal, and well within the resources of the affected country to contain. However, in rare instances, a widespread, multi-focal, or rapidly progressing HCFAD outbreak may temporarily overwhelm the resources of the affected country and negatively impact its ability to contain the disease agent through zoning. Should this happen, the CVO of the affected country will contact the CVO of the partner country to initiate monitoring as described in Section 3, but will not request recognition of an area of control until two incubation periods have elapsed in which no new cases have occurred outside of the infected zone. If recognition is requested earlier, the CVO of the partner country may elect not to countersign until this time period has elapsed or s/he otherwise determines that the area of control is effectively established.

3. Monitoring During an Outbreak

Both APHIS and CFIA have adopted the Incident Command System (ICS) organizational structure and processes to manage animal health incidents. The CVO of the affected country will invite the CVO of the partner country to nominate one or more qualified staff members to observe the emergency response, to communicate, liaise, collaborate or offer expert advice and technical support as appropriate. These staff members may be assigned as Agency Representatives reporting to the Liaison Officer on the ICS Command Staff, as Liaisons to the Multiagency Coordination Group, or to a similar position. Regardless, they will participate in briefings, routinely receive briefing materials/notifications, and act as liaisons for the partner country.

4. Communications

Each country will follow the internal and external communication procedures established in its own emergency response plans, guidelines, manuals, and/or standard operating procedures in the event of an HCFAD outbreak within its territory. Each country will also follow procedures established by pertinent APHIS and CFIA staff to communicate import restrictions to the ports, industry, states and provinces, and other stakeholders, and address questions about the Arrangement and trade with disease-free zones in the affected country. APHIS and CFIA public affairs staff will coordinate their activities to ensure consistency of the message.

5. Trade Between Disease-free Zones

Prior to establishment and recognition of an area of control, the extent of trade will be governed by the movement restrictions put in place by the affected country and the import restrictions enacted by the partner country. Once the CVO of the partner country officially recognizes an area of control within the affected country, normal trade may resume from the disease-free zone. Export health certificates for any animals and commodities that could be infected with or contaminated by the disease agent must state that the animal or commodity did not reside in or pass through an established area of control.

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