2016-2017 Regulatory Cooperation Council Work Plan – Animal Health

Department/Agency

United States united states flag

United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS)

Canada canadian flag

Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA)

Joint Forward Plan Commitment

Animal Health

In order to expedite and simplify trade, the CFIA and USDA-APHIS will work together to develop and implement their respective electronic certification and delivery systems, and collaborate on animal health requirements and assessments for the movement of animals and animal products. Collaborative work will continue on Foreign Animal Disease (FAD) Zoning, joint site visits to third-countries where there are animal health risks of common concern, and related data collection and approaches to risk mitigation. CFIA, USDA-APHIS and industry will work together towards the development of policies for the safe movement of animals across borders in emergency situations. This will result in a more stable and predictable trading environment for Canadian and U.S. stakeholders.

Stakeholders will be provided with progress updates during the year on initiatives through the USDA-CFIA Regulatory Partnership Committee, as well as during annual stakeholder meetings. Stakeholders will have additional opportunities to provide input and engage with USDA and CFIA senior leadership and technical staff on medium and long-term priorities as part of the binational annual work planning process.

Work Stream A

Foreign Animal Disease (FAD) Zoning

Under the first phase of RCC, the CFIA and USDA-APHIS developed and entered into a formal Arrangement to recognize each other's zoning decisions in the event of an FAD outbreak in order to facilitate trade between disease-free zones. The agencies also drafted a Guidance Framework for implementation of the Arrangement, which was released for public comment/consultation in 2014. Through this work plan, the CFIA and USDA-APHIS intend to finalize the Guidance Framework consultation process, establish a governance structure as described in the Framework, and engage in several projects to build the credibility of the Arrangement and facilitate implementation.

Mid/Long-term Objectives:
  1. In order to facilitate the recognition of future zoning decisions, CFIA and USDA-APHIS will work in collaboration with disease and economic modeling experts in the North American Virtual Animal Disease Modelling Center (NAVADMC) to develop the foundation for targeted consequence assessments to inform certain zoning decisions.
  2. Working with various specialists and stakeholders, CFIA and USDA-APHIS will identify and develop joint training and/or simulation exercises for all stakeholders, including federal, provinces/states and industry, depending on the individual activity to build trust and credibility in the Arrangement.
  3. Re-sign the Arrangement set to expire in October 2017.
Short-Term:
  1. Finalize the Guidance Framework consultation process through the release of a summary document/notice and amended Framework. The Framework may be further amended as the need arises.
  2. Conduct an 'after-action' assessment including the effectiveness and lessons learned of the Arrangement and Framework during the recent avian influenza outbreaks in the United States and Canada, and if necessary, implement changes required to the Arrangement and/or Framework where appropriate. Stakeholder outreach will be held where required on the changes to the Arrangement and/or Framework.
Planned initiatives and sub-deliverables by date (Work stream A)
Planned Initiatives and Sub-deliverables Date
1. Finalize the Guidance Framework consultation process. June 2016
2. Evaluate the use of the Framework for avian influenza to identify, define and address issues which interfered with implementation. December 2016
3. Model various outbreak scenarios for foot-and-mouth disease and classical swine fever, to develop tools to help guide APHIS and CFIA decision-makers on the optimal time to re-open the border to trade between disease-free zones during an outbreak Ongoing
4. Incorporate the Framework into FAD trainings/exercises Initiate in July 2016. Time frames to complete this initiative will depend on the event(s) selected.

Work Stream B

Emergency Transit of Live Animals Through Canada or USA

The routine movement of livestock across the border is regulated by both countries and requires the issuance of import permits and export certificates. During an emergency situation when large numbers of animals have to move rapidly between the two countries, issuance of these documents under their current form could become impractical.

Recent events in USA and Canada have demonstrated the need for policies that would allow for emergency transit in case of a natural disaster or any other problem that could severely affect either the health of live animals or regular livestock exchanges.

Long Term Objective:

Negotiate a bilateral arrangement between CFIA and USDA that would allow emergency transit of live animals through Canada or USA.

Mid-Term Objective:

This project would eventually allow the development of simple and practical policies for moving animals between Canada and the USA in case of an emergency. This may include assessment of operational capabilities on both sides of the Canada/US border to allow safe transit. Simulating emergency scenarios and understanding the effectiveness of the policies at an operational level would also be undertaken. Having procedures accepted in advance by both countries would avoid last minute requests and would help save animals or maintain management systems in the affected country.

Short-Term Objective:

Discussions will be initiated between CFIA and USDA-APHIS, and industry stakeholders on both sides of the border to discuss various options available to develop and implement policies that would allow safe movement of animals.

Planned initiatives and sub-deliverables by date (Work stream B)
Planned Initiatives and Sub-deliverables Date
1. Internal discussions within CFIA and USDA in order to determine options and feasibility Summer 2016
2. Development of simple and practical policies for moving animals between Canada and the USA in case of emergency Fall 2016
3. Finalization of the project (operational instructions, communications, simulations) 2016-2017

Work stream C

Electronic Certification: Electronic exchange of certificates (e-Cert) will increase the efficiency of the exchange of certificates between importing and exporting countries, improve reporting and security of the transmission of the certificates, and reduce the opportunity for fraudulent activity. This work plan builds upon existing initiatives within our respective countries to provide electronic service delivery to industry stakeholders.

Long-Term Objective:

Work collaboratively to further streamline the efficient export and import of products through electronic certification processes by identifying priorities, assessing business impacts and technical options for the exchange of electronic certificates.

Mid-Term:
  1. Develop and implement our respective electronic platforms as required;
  2. Establish guidance on the use of our respective systems for stakeholders to facilitate electronic certification.
Short-Term:
  1. Initiate cooperative discussions to exchange information about the status of the development of our respective systems;
  2. Exchange technical information that will facilitate the enablement of electronic certification.
Planned initiatives and sub-deliverables by date (Work stream C)
Planned Initiatives and Sub-deliverables Date
1. Continue cooperative discussions to exchange information about the status of the development of our respective systems. September 2016
2. Exchange technical information that will facilitate the enablement of electronic certification. September 2016 – November 2017
3. Establish guidance on the use of our respective systems for stakeholders to facilitate electronic certification. 2017
4. Build and implement our respective electronic platforms as required. 2018
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