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Notice to Industry – Updates to the federal management of chronic wasting disease in farmed cervids

March 15th, 2019  – Ottawa, ON – The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has updated its national chronic wasting disease (CWD) program to better focus on disease prevention and risk management.

Disease management is a shared responsibility. Efforts to eradicate CWD in the farmed cervid population have not been successful. The CFIA's current approach aims to reduce the risk of the disease spreading by encouraging producers to adopt strong risk mitigation measures.

Enrolling and participating in a Voluntary Herd Certification Program (VHCP) is important to help prevent the introduction of CWD to a farm. A VHCP requires enrolled producers to take measures to mitigate the risk of CWD, including ongoing surveillance testing of mature dead cervids and implementation of biosecurity measures.

Starting April 1, 2019, the CFIA will order depopulation with compensation only for affected herds that have achieved level D or higher of a VHCP.  Generally, these herds will have participated in a VHCP for 12 months or more.   

The CFIA will continue to investigate all animals suspected of having CWD and conduct confirmatory testing to determine whether CWD is present in a herd.  Confirmation of CWD in a herd will trigger the CFIA's CWD disease response.    The CFIA's CWD VHCP response includes movement controls, ordering destruction and disposal of infected herds, cleaning and disinfection of contaminated premises, and providing compensation to producers.

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