Chapter 1 - Overview
1.1 Accredited Veterinarian's Mandate

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This module describes the authority for activities and duties performed by accredited veterinarians.

Introduction

1. An accredited veterinarian is a veterinarian who is authorized under the Health of Animals Act to perform certain duties and functions in support of the National Animal Health Program.

2. Canada's earliest accredited veterinarians date to December 18, 1896, when the Minister of Agriculture for Canada and the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) agreed that the services of veterinarians in private practice could be used in the examination, testing, and certification of livestock being exported to either country.

3. The duties and functions of an accredited veterinarian, as well as the terms and conditions of accreditation, are described in the Accredited Veterinarian Agreement (CFIA/ACIA 1625). The Accredited Veterinarian's Manual provides instructions and specifications for the conduct of those duties and functions. Knowledge of and adherence to the agreement and the instructions in this manual will permit the delivery of the National Accredited Veterinarian Program in a consistent and uniform manner that addresses the combined needs and expectations of the Canadian livestock industry, the public, and Canada's international trading partners.

4. The Embryo Export Program is a specific process that lies outside the Accredited Veterinarian Agreement and the scope of this manual.

Mandate

Health of Animals Act and Regulations

5. Accredited veterinarians perform their functions under the authority of the Health of Animals Act, which provides the enabling legislation for the Health of Animals Regulations.

6. The purposes of the Health of Animals Act and Regulations are to prevent the introduction of animal diseases into Canada; to control and eliminate diseases in animals that either affect human health or could significantly affect the Canadian economy; and, to provide for the humane treatment of animals during transport.

7. The sections of the Act and Regulations which provide the authority for accredited veterinarians are:

  • Section 34 of the Health of Animals Act, which provides authority for the Minister to enter into an agreement with any qualified person to perform such duties or functions as the Minister may specify, on such terms and conditions as the Minister may specify;
  • Section 69 of the Health of Animals Regulations, which requires that no person shall export out of Canada livestock, poultry, animal embryos, or animal semen unless the importation requirements of the country to which it is being exported have been met and the person has obtained a certificate of a veterinary inspector, or a certificate of an accredited veterinarian endorsed by a veterinary inspector, issued before shipment that clearly identifies the livestock, poultry, animal embryos or animal semen and the animal source. The certificate must show that a veterinary inspector or an accredited veterinarian has inspected the livestock, poultry, animal embryos or animal semen and found them to be free from any communicable disease. The certificate must also show the date and place of inspection and, if tests have been performed, the nature of each test and that the livestock, poultry, animal embryos, animal semen or the donors of animal embryos or animal semen proved negative to such tests. The export certificate must bear the mark of the official export stamp;
  • Section 73.1 of the Health of Animals Regulations, which provides for an accredited veterinarian to test animals for disease in an eradication area;
  • Subsection 99 (2) of the Health of Animals Regulations, which provides for an accredited veterinarian to mark or otherwise identify any animal inspected.
  • Section 102 of the Health of Animals Regulations, which provides for an inspector to affix seals or other devices to a conveyance, container or other thing, for the purposes of the Act and these Regulations.

8. Irrespective of provisions of the agreement, any veterinary practitioner has a legal obligation under the following:

  • Section 5 of the Health of Animals Act to provide notification of the presence of a reportable disease to a veterinary inspector;
  • Sections 138, 140, 142-144, 148 of the Health of Animals Regulations with respect to the transportation of animals;
  • Section 177 of the Health of Animals Regulations with respect to the identification requirements of transported or received animals and section 187 of the Health of Animals Regulations with respect to the reporting of approved tags to the responsible administrator.
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