Explanatory Note
Repeal of the British Columbia Bluetongue Infected Place Order

Bluetongue is a viral disease affecting sheep, goats, cattle, deer, bighorn sheep and antelopes that can cause serious illness and death in infected animals. The virus can only be transmitted between animals by certain species of insects (midges), which are only found in restricted areas of Canada.

Bluetongue was first detected in Canada in 1975. Eradication efforts were carried out in 1976, under the British Columbia Bluetongue Infected Place Order. Extensive testing from 1976 to 2008 confirmed that the disease is restricted to the Okanagan Valley.

Bluetongue transmission has been recorded five times in the Okanagan Valley over the past thirty-five years (1975, 1987, 1988, 1998, and 2004). There is no historical evidence that the Bluetongue Virus has the ability to over-winter in Canada. All scientific evidence supports that the disease no longer exists in the Okanagan Valley.

Bluetongue import restrictions on U.S. cattle were lifted in February 2007, through a regulatory amendment to The Health of Animals Act. Another amendment removed serotypes of bluetongue present in the U.S. from the reportable diseases list in May 2010 and placed them onto the immediately notifiable disease list. The immediately notifiable list is a less demanding reporting scheme which still allows the CFIA to fulfill its international reporting obligations to trading partners and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).

By this Revocation of Declaration, the British Columbia Bluetongue Infected Place Order is now repealed.

Contact:

Dorothy W Geale BSc (Hons) PhD DVM, Senior Staff Veterinarian,
Foreign Animal Disease & Emergency Management
Animal Health, Welfare & Biosecurity Division, Policy & Programs Branch Canadian Food Inspection Agency
161 Simcoe Street, Peterborough, Ontario K9H 2H6
705-750-4962 Dorothy.Geale@inpection.gc.ca

Tom Smylie BSc (Hons), DVM, Senior Staff Veterinarian, FAD
Terrestrial Animal Health Division
Policy and Programs Branch
Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Room No. 59-3E-207, 59 Camelot Drive, Ottawa, Ontario K9J 2R8
613-773-7450 Tom.Smylie@inspection.gc.ca

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