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.
- For more information on the VHCP, see herd certification.
- The National Standards for the VHCP are available in the Accredited Veterinarian Manual, chapter 13.
- For more information on CFIA's CWD disease response, see chronic wasting disease – what to expect if your animals may be infected.
- To enroll in a VHCP, please contact the regional administrator in your region of Canada.
- June 30, 2017: Announcement of CWD program change to producers, associations and other affected organizations.
- April 1, 2018: New program started. As of this date, producers needed to be enrolled in a VHCP to be eligible for CFIA response and compensation.
- April 1, 2018 to March 31, 2019: During this transition period, producers were to contact the regional administrator of the VHCP available in their area and consider enrolling in the program in order to control the risk of CWD entering their herd and to be eligible for federal response and compensation.
- April 1, 2019: Full implementation of the program change. As of this date, only producers that have achieved level D or higher (or have been enrolled in and compliant with a VHCP for at least 12 months) will be eligible for the CFIA's VHCP response and compensation.
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