ARCHIVED - Anaplasmosis Program Adjustments

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February 25, 2013: In an effort to modernize Canada's approach to managing animal diseases, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is making adjustments to its activities for certain federally reportable diseases.

Effective April 1, 2014, anaplasmosis will be removed from the list of federally reportable diseases and placed on the list of immediately notifiable diseases.

Anaplasmosis does not pose human health or food safety risks. A human disease, human granulocytic ehrlichiosis (HGE) was renamed as "human anaplasmosis" in 2003, but this disease is caused by a different micro-organism.

The decision to remove anaplasmosis from the federally reportable disease list was based on scientific assessment. The decision reflects the fact that anaplasmosis is established in the United States. There is a strong probability that anaplasmosis will enter Canada from the United States and the continuing to attempt to eradicate the disease within Canada may not be feasible.

By making these changes the Agency will be able to focus more resources on emerging diseases and pandemics.

This decision will not impact Canada's international reporting obligations to trading partners and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). No impact on market opportunities for Canadian producers is expected.

This change will mean that:

  • only laboratories will be required to report suspected or confirmed cases to the CFIA,
  • the CFIA will no longer respond to anaplasmosis cases, and
  • the CFIA will no longer conduct surveillance for anaplasmosis to verify Canada's status for the disease.

By taking steps to modernize Canada's approach to anaplasmosis, the CFIA will be able to focus more resources on emerging disease and foreign animal diseases.

The CFIA will continue to respond to anaplasmosis cases until March 31, 2014. However, an interim approach consisting of scaled back disease response activities has been put in place in preparation for the program ending.

Specifically, the Agency will continue to test infected herds and perform trace out activities during disease response activities in the interim but in anticipation of anaplasmosis being removed from the federally reportable disease list, the CFIA will no longer:

  • test susceptible animals in the areas surrounding an infected herd or
  • test susceptible animals who may have come into contact with the infected herd.

During the transition period, the CFIA will continue to inform producers if their animals may have been exposed to the disease. Producers should talk to their veterinarians about testing if their animals are or have been in close proximity to an infected animal or herd. CFIA is working with provincial laboratories to develop testing capacity for Anaplasma. A list of laboratories currently approved by CFIA to perform the testing for Anaplasma is available upon request.

Anaplasmosis can be spread by ticks, biting flies, or through contaminated instruments such as hypodermic syringes and dehorning equipment. Producers can protect their animals and their industry by practicing farm-level biosecurity and by contacting their veterinarian if they suspect their herd may be infected.

Additional Information

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