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

December 12, 2017 – Ottawa, ON – The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is updating its national chronic wasting disease (CWD) program to better focus on disease prevention and risk management. A three-month extension to the implementation date has been granted to give producers, regional administrators and status assessors, provinces and territories more time to prepare for the upcoming change.

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

Enrolling 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, 2018, the CFIA will only respond to and compensate producers enrolled in a VHCP.

A transition period is being provided throughout 2018 to give producers time to enroll in and complete 12 months in a VHCP.

  • Starting April 1, 2019, the CFIA will only respond to and compensate affected producers who have been enrolled in and compliant with a VHCP for at least 12 months.

CFIA's response includes movement controls, ordering destruction and disposal of infected herds, and providing compensation to producers.

More information about VHCPs is available in the Accredited Veterinarian's Manual, chapter 13.

Key dates:

  • June 30, 2017: Announcement of program change to producers, associations and other affected organizations.
  • April 1, 2018: New program starts. As of this date, producers need 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 should 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 program change. As of this date, only producers that have been enrolled in and compliant with a VHCP for at least 12 months will be eligible for the CFIA's full response and compensation.
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