Chapter 13 – Chronic Wasting Disease Voluntary Herd Certification Program
13.3 Accredited Veterinarian's Responsibilities

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Preliminary Activities

1. Schedule a meeting with the local Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) district veterinarian to obtain the training necessary to establish a valid accreditation agreement (contract) with the CFIA. During this meeting, review the terms and conditions for herd certification, and discuss the duties and procedures that the accredited veterinarian must follow for the delivery of the Chronic Wasting Disease Voluntary Herd Certification Program (CWD VHCP).

2. Obtain and read the National Standards for the CWD VHCP (see Module 13.6, Appendix 3) and CFIA directive TAHD-DSAT-DCAW-2011-11, effective date: 2011-10-20 (see Module 13.6, Appendix 6), which outlines the current testing and reporting requirements and CFIA-approved laboratory information.

3. A tutorial or a review of the transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) brain and lymph node sampling techniques in cervids is suggested at this time. The CD Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies: Surveillance and Specimen Collection is a good resource available through the CFIA.

4. Once accredited for this function, make arrangements with an interested owner to assess the facilities, herd management, and record-keeping practices. These steps should be undertaken to gauge the degree to which the accredited veterinarian believes the producer can be successful, and to identify any necessary changes in record keeping or management that would facilitate meeting the CWD VHCP requirements.

Note: A third party initial herd inventory is to be prepared within the three months immediately prior to the submission of an enrolment application by the owner. (See section 16, below, and Module 13.3, section 6, for clarification on third parties.)

5. Advise owners to contact the regional administrator (RA) in their area (see Module 13.6, Appendix 4) to obtain an application form and to learn what is required to participate, to advance and to maintain certification.

Note: Certain regions in Canada may have a standard that is equivalent to or higher than what is set out in the national standards and in this manual. Obtain a copy of the regional VHCP from the RA, noting any differences in requirements over and above what is detailed in this manual.

Program Delivery

6. In accordance with the national standards, program delivery is carried out by either an accredited veterinarian or provincial staff (i.e. a veterinarian who is an employee of a provincial department that is the status assessor/regional administrator, or SA/RA).

Note: Although the program delivery person (subsequently referred to as the accredited veterinarian) is responsible for the duties outlined in section 7, below, in this program, the inventory portion only may be conducted by an approved third partyFootnote 1 during the first and second years, and every third year after that. Any of the approved third parties may carry out the initial inventory; however, using the accredited veterinarian is strongly recommended. During the other years, when a third party is not required, the owner is permitted to conduct the inventory portion, if they wish. Regardless of who completes the inventory, it will still be the accredited veterinarian's responsibility to complete the annual inventory report. (See Module 13.4, section 32.)

General Overview of Accredited Veterinarian's Responsibilities

7. Accredited veterinarians under this program are responsible for the following:

  • reviewing the requirements of the program and responding to questions of the owner of premises applying for or enrolled in the program;
  • teaching the owner to recognize the clinical signs of CWD, providing information on the epidemiology of the disease and herd management;
  • assessing the facilities on premises proposed for membership in the program;
  • conducting a herd inventory (at minimum, during times when a third party inventory is required);
  • assessing the health of the herd to determine whether any cervid is demonstrating signs of CWD;
  • reconciling records to ensure that the herd meets the program requirements;
  • signing reports, including the annual inventory, and submitting them to the status assessor;
  • reporting any suspected case of CWD to the CFIA district veterinarian; and
  • collecting samples and submitting samples if the owner has not sent them directly to the provincial laboratory.

Producer Responsibilities

8. It is the owner's responsibility to comply with the CWD VHCP requirements (see Module 13.6, Appendix 3) that include the following:

  • submitting samples from all cervids over 12 months of age that die, or informing the AV that animal(s) have died and that it is necessary to submit samples;
  • maintaining facilities and fences, and meeting any provincial standards;
  • keeping records of all cervids on the premises and moving onto or off of the premises;
  • employing an accredited veterinarian;
  • conducting annual inventories (in years when they are permitted to do so);
  • being aware of the clinical signs and epidemiology of CWD taught by the accredited veterinarian, and observing and immediately reporting to the accredited veterinarian any signs of CWD in animals; and
  • providing to the accredited veterinarian, the regional administrator, or the status assessor, upon request, any supporting documentation or missing information that is necessary to reconcile the inventory or complete the annual advancement process.
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