Animal Health Week: Their health is in your hands

September 30, 2013, Ottawa: This is Animal Health Week and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) are encouraging animal and livestock owners to make routine veterinary exams a standard part of animal care.

This year's Animal Health Week theme is "Their health is in your hands," which highlights the important role livestock producers and pet owners play in maintaining the health and wellbeing of their animals.

On the farm, producers can work with their herd veterinarian to create a biosecurity plan and herd or flock health management plan tailored to the needs of their operation.

"The practices collectively known as biosecurity are important to producers, and industry as a whole, for their effectiveness in managing animal diseases already present in Canada," said Canada's Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr. Ian Alexander. "These simple, cost-effective measures, could also help Canada manage an incursion of an emerging or foreign animal disease, by helping limit the spread of disease and supporting re-entry into foreign markets."

Examples of farm-level biosecurity practices include:

  • Isolating and testing new animals before introducing them to the herd or flock
  • Preventing rodents, wildlife and visitors from coming into contact with farmed animals
  • Cleaning and disinfecting barns and equipment

Visits to the veterinarian help pets maintain a healthier life. For pet owners, visits to the veterinarian are important for the health of their family. Like all animals, pets can carry and pass serious illnesses onto their owners such as:

  • salmonellosis
  • toxoplasmosis
  • rabies

"Veterinarians can provide pet owners with preventive healthcare options to ensure their family pets stay healthy," said Dr. Jim Berry, president of the CVMA. "When recommending preventive healthcare options, such as vaccines and anti-parasitic treatments, veterinarians will take into consideration a pet's lifestyle, health status, geographic location and any household considerations that may be relevant."

For more information on the CVMA's annual Animal Health Week, please visit www.canadianveterinarians.net. For more information on farm-level biosecurity, visit www.inspection.gc.ca/biosecurity.

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For media inquiries

Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Media relations: 613-773-6600

Kristin McEvoy, Manager, Communications
Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA)
613-236-1162, ext. 128

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