Canada, Mexico and the United States combine efforts to prevent the spread of avian influenza

On January 18, 2016, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's (CFIA) Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr. Harpreet Kochhar, was in Los Cabos, Mexico meeting with his counterparts of the Mexican National Service of Agriculture and Food Health, Safety and Quality (SENAISCA), and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The meeting resulted in the signing of a letter of understanding that will promote ongoing collaboration and sharing of information to support the timely detection and control of notifiable avian influenza (NAI) in North America.

Industry partners representing the Canadian Poultry and Egg Processors Council, Egg Farmers of Canada, the National Union of Poultry Farmers of the United Mexican States and the USA Poultry and Egg Export Council were also present.

The three participants agreed to establish a forum to share technical information on animal health programs and processes related to the prevention, preparedness, control, and recovery of NAI in domestic poultry, and the risks of NAI posed by migratory birds. In addition, the three federal organizations have formed a Tripartite Working Group that will meet annually during face-to-face meetings hosted in turn by SENASICA, CFIA, and USDA.

The SENASICA, CFIA, and USDA have been members of the North American Animal Health Committee (NAAHC) since 1992 and have a long history of sharing technical information on animal health programs and processes. With the recent letter of understanding signed, all three parties have demonstrated that they are ready to take their collaboration one step further by focusing more on reducing the threat of avian influenza.

For more information on avian influenza and measures poultry farmers can take to protect their flocks, please visit the CFIA's avian biosecurity webpage.

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