A Plant and Animal Health Strategy for Canada
3. The Basis for the Plant and Animal Health Strategy: Objectives, Guiding Principles and Scope
Partners developed the Plant and Animal Health Strategy to set the direction for advancing Canada's current approach to the safeguarding of plant and animal health towards an integrated system of partners and activities; to embed continuous improvements in how the system operates and evolves; to build upon and coordinate the efforts of all partners to maximize synergies while minimizing overlaps and gaps; to adapt in step with changing risks, needs, and capacities of partners; and to identify priorities and concrete actions.
As a starting point, partners identified the following three objectives of the Strategy:
Canada has the necessary information and awareness needed to support forward-looking risk management and evidence-based decisions.
Canada has a comprehensive, effective and integrated system that prevents and proactively addresses plant and animal health risks.
Canada has a robust and responsive plant and animal health system that supports economic growth and market competitiveness for Canadian products.
To complement these objectives, partners agreed on the value of a series of principles to guide the development of the Strategy, and ultimately its implementation. The guiding principles include the following:
Efficiency and Continuous Improvement
Adaptive, Evidence- and Risk-Based Approach
Collaboration, Sharing, and Transparency
Early in the development of the Strategy, partners were consulted about the types of risks, sectors, and activities that it should include. As a result of the consultations, the Strategy focuses on prevention in high-risk areas, including plant pests and animal diseases, and risks to plant and animal health that originate from agricultural inputs (such as contaminated feed or seed). Because risks from plant pests and animal diseases are not limited to one or several sectors, the Strategy includes a wide breadth of managed sectors. It also considers pests and diseases of unmanaged plant and animal populations, but only in situations in which they may impact managed populations.Footnote 4 It also considers how pests and diseases of managed populations impact the environment. Four categories of activities are considered in the Strategy, including prevention and mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery.
The scope of the Strategy recognizes that, for some areas of risk, there is little potential for control over pathways, and that preparedness and response capacity for such risks will remain vital.
The Strategy aims to complement, not duplicate, the efforts of other existing strategies or policies. For example, this Strategy recognizes the value of a range of existing strategies and initiatives (Appendix 2), and is intended to build on their successes and strengths and help bring about a cohesive approach. In addition, the Strategy is intended to build on the strengths of existing related federal and provincial programs relating to crop and animal production inputs such as fertilizer safety, seed standards and integrity, feeds, veterinary biologics, plant and animal treatments, and plant biosafety. As the Strategy is implemented and its activities evolve with the changing needs of the plant and animal health system, it will be important to ensure ongoing consistency with other strategies and support to complementary activities. Appendix 2 provides information on related frameworks and strategies to consider during the ongoing implementation of the Plant and Animal Health Strategy.
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