Notice to Industry – Updates to the federal management of chronic wasting disease in farmed cervids

June 30, 2017 – Ottawa, ON - The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is updating its national chronic wasting disease (CWD) program to better focus on disease prevention and risk management.

Disease management is a shared responsibility. Efforts to eradicate CWD in the farmed cervid population have not been successful. As a result, the CFIA's new approach aims to reduce the risk of the disease spreading by encouraging producers to adopt strong risk mitigation measures.

As of December 31, 2017, the CFIA's response and compensation will only be provided to producers enrolled in a Voluntary Herd Certification Program (VHCP). A transition period is being provided throughout 2018 to give producers time to enroll in and complete 12 months in a VHCP.

As of January 1, 2019, the CFIA's response and compensation will only apply if the affected producer has been enrolled in and compliant with a VHCP for at least 12 months.

CFIA's response includes movement controls, ordering destruction and disposal of infected herds, and providing compensation to producers.

A VHCP requires enrolled producers to take measures to mitigate the risk of CWD, including ongoing surveillance testing of mature dead cervids and implementation of biosecurity measures.

More information about VHCPs is available in the Accredited Veterinarian's Manual, chapter 13.

Key dates:

  • June 30, 2017: Announcement of program change to producers, associations and other affected organizations.
  • December 31, 2017: Implementation of program change. After December 31, 2017, producers need to enroll in a VHCP to be eligible for response and compensation.
  • January 1, 2018 – December 31, 2018: During this transition period, producers should contact the regional administrator of the VHCP available in their area and consider enrolling in the program in order to control de risk of CWD entering their herd and to be eligible for federal response and compensation.
  • January 1, 2019: Full implementation of program change. As of January 1, 2019, only producers that have been enrolled in and compliant with a VHCP for at least 12 months will be eligible for CFIA's response and compensation.
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