Notice to Industry - Anthrax Program Changes

April 5, 2013: The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is reminding livestock producers and other stakeholders that the anthrax program changed on April 1, 2013.

The CFIA is making adjustments to its activities for certain federally reportable diseases, including anthrax, in an effort to modernize Canada’s approach to managing animal diseases.

Effective April 1, 2013, the Agency no longer:

  • investigates and quarantines anthrax-infected premises
  • collects and submits samples for testing
  • performs anthrax testing
  • provides an initial dose of anthrax vaccine for affected herds
  • oversees carcass disposal, cleaning and disinfection
  • pays an indemnity to help cover the cost of disposing of animal carcasses

Anthrax remains a "federally reportable disease." This means producers, practitioners and laboratories are still required to report suspect cases to the CFIA. The Agency will continue to comply with its international reporting obligations to trading partners and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).

Anthrax is a naturally occurring disease that can have devastating affects on cattle, sheep, goats, horses and bison. The spores that cause the disease are known to exist in the soil across the Canadian prairies. They generally surface during the summer months, when heavy rainfall and flooding is followed by hot, dry temperatures.

Producers seeking advice on the prevention, diagnosis, treatment or disposal of anthrax cases in their herd are encouraged to contact their private veterinarian.

Vaccination is an effective way to protect livestock from anthrax. Producers should consult their private veterinarians about the risks associated with anthrax and the decision to have their animals vaccinated – especially if their herd resides in an area where the disease has been detected before.

While vaccinating livestock is the best protection against anthrax, producers should also:

  • avoid giving hay that was cut close to the soil or feed that had contact with soil to non-vaccinated animals
  • thoroughly clean and disinfect equipment and footwear that may have had contact with contaminated soil
  • wash clothes worn when tending to sick animals separately from the rest of the household laundry.

For more information on anthrax visit CFIA's Website.

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