Draft Bio-Security Standard
The Government of Canada and Equine Canada are Developing a National Farm-Level Biosecurity Standard for Horses in Canada
Ottawa, ON. March 26, 2015 -- Equine Canada is working with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) and other partner organizations to develop a farm-level biosecurity standard that will help protect Canada's equine industry from animal diseases.
A national Equine Biosecurity Advisory Committee has been established to develop this voluntary standard that will provide a common approach to preventing and controlling disease in facilities where horses are housed and kept.
The equine biosecurity standard will:
provide guidelines for effective biosecurity practices;
promote a consistent approach to reducing the risks of established, emerging and foreign animal diseases;
enhance equine health, welfare and productivity;
minimize the frequency, scope and impact of disease outbreaks;
increase industry's knowledge of the risks associated with diseases; and
identify potential gaps in current control measures.
Good biosecurity practices limit the exposure to animal diseases. These practices allow the routine movement, transport and assembly of horses to continue, preserving the sustainability of the equine industry.
"The purpose of the standard is to assist all farms and facilities to develop a set of procedures that reduce the risk of disease transmission," said Equine Canada Health & Welfare Committee co-chair, Dr. Mary Bell. "The goal of this standard is to improve and ensure the health of Canadian horses."
Biosecurity standards take up to two years to develop through a formalized process and participation from a broad cross-section of stakeholders, including government, academic institutions and industry organizations.
"Infectious diseases are a real risk in the equine industry that we cannot simply neglect or eliminate, however we can manage them," said Dr. Daniel Schwartz, Veterinary Biosecurity Specialist with the Animal Health, Welfare and Biosecurity Division with the CFIA. "The biosecurity standard is a tool to assist horse owners and custodians in protecting horse health on farms and facilities by minimizing the risks of the transmission of infectious diseases. Horse owners and custodians, in consultation with their veterinarian, can use the biosecurity guidelines and best practices in the standard to develop a biosecurity plan to manage the risks on their farms and facilities."
"Through the standard, we hope to ensure the health and welfare of Canadian horses and the success of Canada's horse industry," added Schwartz.
As part of a larger consultation process, the draft standard will be presented and circulated at the Equine Canada Annual Convention, March 25-29, 2015.
Click here to download the Draft Biosecurity Standards document (a PDF file)
All industry stakeholders are encouraged to review the draft and communicate their feedback by June 1, 2015 to Julie Cull (email@example.com), Equine Canada's Project Manager, Equine Development and Participation. The feedback provided will be reviewed by the Equine Biosecurity Advisory Committee to guide revisions to the draft biosecurity standard.
The biosecurity standard will complement existing equine farm-level biosecurity programs while reflecting the diversity within the equine industry. Canadian equine custodians and owners have a longstanding and successful practice of implementing biosecurity measures. A national standard will build on this knowledge and help share best practices across the country to strengthen the industry as a whole.
Funding to develop the standard has been provided under the Growing Forward 2 Agricultural Policy Framework.
*Compiled with files from CFIA
The CQHA Public Policy Committee is reviewing the existing bio-security policies and procedures, and invites members and industry stakeholders to also submit your comments directly to us to indicatie your interest and opinion. Click here to email the CQHA Chair of Public Policy.
Current Public Policy Issues:
Need a biosecurity protocol for your next horse show?
Click here for: CQHA Biosecurity & Emergency Measures Show Guidelines (PDF file)
#1. New Biosecurity Standard helps protect Canadian Horses:
Ottawa, Ontario, June 20, 2016 – Simple ways for owners and handlers to protect horses from disease.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) in partnership with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), Equine Canada and its equine sector organizations has developed a National Farm and Facility Level Biosecurity Standard for the Equine Sector
This new guidance document can be used by horse owners and custodians as a cost effective way to limit the risk of a disease outbreak on farms and other facilities where horses may be kept.
Funding to develop this Standard has been provided under Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's Growing Forward 2 Agricultural Policy Framework. It can be adopted in its entirety or can supplement existing on-farm biosecurity programs as it provides:
- guidance on effective biosecurity practices to minimize the transmission of diseases;
- ways to reduce the frequency, scope and impact of disease outbreaks; and
- multiple methods to enhance horse health, welfare and productivity.
Through this partnership, we are currently developing a biosecurity guide that provides additional information on how to achieve the biosecurity goals outlined in the Standard. This guide will be available in late 2016.
- Canada already has national biosecurity standards for the avian, bee, cattle, dairy, goat, mink and sheep industries.
- Horse owners and industry members across the country submitted suggestions and reviewed the draft National Biosecurity Standard before it was finalized.
- To protect human and animal health, the CFIA conducts inspections and has monitoring and testing programs in place. The CFIA carries out programs related to animal health and production to guard against the entry of foreign animal diseases and to prevent the spread of certain domestic animal diseases.
"Representing Equine Canada, I am pleased to have supported CFIA in the development of this National Standard, participating as co-chair and working with a knowledgeable and dedicated committee with organizational and regional diversity. The Biosecurity Standard and Guide both provide a reference useful to all equine facilities and activities. The goal is to improve and ensure the health of Canadian horses."
Dr. Mary Bell, Equine Canada representative and co-chair of the Equine Biosecurity Advisory Committee 2016
"The CFIA has seen a great amount of success with national biosecurity standards for the avian, bee, cattle, dairy, goat, mink, and sheep industries. Having these guidelines in place for the equine industry will better equip those who own or care for horses to further protect Canadian horses from diseases. This achievement was made possible by collaborating with other government departments, horse owners and the equine industry. When we work together, we continue to expand Canada's capacity to better safeguard our animals."
Lawrence MacAulay, Canada's Minister of Agriculture
Above content provided by: Equine Canada, Horse Health & Welfare
#2. Owners Need to Test for Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA):
Equine Canada’s Health and Welfare Committee would like to remind Canadian horse owners that Equine Infectious Anemia is a potentially fatal viral disease that is constantly present, to some degree, in the Canadian equine population. All individuals involved in the Canadian horse industry should be vigilant about monitoring and testing for EIA, commonly referred to as “swamp fever.”
Input is being sought by C.F.I.A. regarding the “Proposed Risk Management Strategy for EIA Control in Canada"
The CQHA Public Policy Committee is reviewing the existing EIA policies and procedures, and invites members and industry stakeholders to also submit your comments directly to us as to indicate your interest and opinion. Click here to email the CQHA Chair of Public Policy