Foot-and-Mouth Disease Hazard Specific Plan
3. Authorities and Principles of Control

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3.1 Statutory Authority

Statutory authority for control of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is contained in the Health of Animals Act of 1990 (the Act). FMD has been prescribed by the Minister as a reportable disease. Reportable diseases are defined in the Reportable Diseases Regulations promulgated under subsection 2(2) of the Act.

Subsections 5(1) and (2) of the Act require owners (or anyone caring for or having control over animals), veterinarians and/or laboratories to immediately notify a Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) veterinary inspector when the person suspects one of the diseases listed in the Reportable Diseases Regulations is present or when the person becomes aware of any fact indicating the presence of the disease. Failure to comply with this requirement is an offence under the Act and can result in the denial of compensation (section 54 of the Act), if animals are ordered destroyed or for the recovery of costs relating to Control Zone measures (section 61 of the Act).

The legislative authorities under which the various activities are carried out are found in the Health of Animals Act and the Health of Animals Regulations. These authorities include, but are not limited to, those found in the following:

  • the Health of Animals Act sections 5 (notification), 6 (sampling), 22 (declaration of infected place), 23 (further declaration in vicinity of infected place), 25 (removal from an infected place), 26 (place no longer infected), 27.1 (declaration of a Primary control zone), 27.1 (declaration of a Secondary control zone), 30 (designate facilities for a specified purpose for the admin of … Act or Regs [i.e. establish checkpoint]), 35 (provide information and assistance to inspectors), 38 (inspectors may enter, open, inspect, test, require records, and examine records), 48 (disposal and treatment), 51-55 (compensation), and 64 (make regulations for the purposes of the Act); and
  • the Health of Animals Regulations section 3 (segregation of animals), 4 (inspection of animals), 5 (quarantine or destruction), 6 (quarantine), 91.1 (notification), 91.3 (records), 91.4 (quarantine), 104-9 (cleaning and disinfection), 114 (disposal), 160 (issuance of permits or licences), and 161 (issuance of licences).

3.2 Policy Statement

An outbreak of FMD would result in an immediate cessation of exports. The CFIA's mission is to safeguard food, animals and plants, which enhances the health and well-being of Canada's people, environment, and economy. In line with this mission, the CFIA's objective is to eliminate FMD as swiftly as possible to limit its social and economic impact, while respecting the environment, and to regain our status, as a FMD-free country where vaccination is not practised, as quickly as possible.

The CFIA follows principles in the Terrestrial Animal Health Code of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and European Union (EU) directives of slaughter of infected and exposed animals (stamping-out), as authorized under section 48 of the Health of Animals Act. Emergency vaccination will be evaluated immediately, and will be used in certain geographic situations and under certain management practices with stamping-out to control the production and spread of the virus. Among other factors, regionalization and zoning considerations are critical to the decision on using emergency vaccination, due to trade ramifications and whether to adopt a vaccinate-to-live strategy or vaccinate-to-slaughter strategy. Section 3.3.6 provides greater detail on vaccination.

3.3 Principles of Control and Eradication

The four basic principles used in eradicating exotic diseases are as follows:

  1. Eradicate sources of the disease agent.
  2. Prevent contact between susceptible animals and the disease agent.
  3. Increase the resistance of susceptible animals to the disease agent.
  4. Contain the disease agent to a geographic area.

The following elaborates on these four principles, providing procedures to use, as required, for control and eradication in terms of FMD.

1. Eradicate sources of FMD virus as follows:

  • Stop production of FMD virus by the infected animals by rapidly slaughtering infected and exposed animals on positive FMD-infected places (stamping-out) and by disposing of carcasses (section 3.3.1).
  • Reduce virus shedding possibly by vaccinating high-risk premises, especially swine that are virus aerosol excretors (section 3.3.6).
  • Eliminate the virus by decontaminating premises, vehicles, equipment and materials, or by disposing contaminated materials (section 3.3.8), and follow other biocontainment principles (section 3.3.11).
  • Conduct surveillance of all suspect infected premises (traced or geographic proximity) by clinical, serological, or virological evaluation for early detection of sources of FMD virus (section 3.3.5).
  • Take risk-based measures, involving destruction of high-risk animals (known exposure), prior to clinical expression of the disease (section 3.3.4).

2. Prevent contact between susceptible animals and FMD virus as follows:

  • Stop the spread of potential FMD virus by issuing infected place declarations for suspect premises within 5 km of positive FMD-infected places (section 23 of the Health of Animals Act).
  • Stop the spread of potential FMD virus by issuing infected place declarations for suspect premises identified during tracing activities (section 22 of the Health of Animals Act).
  • Be aware that, once a Primary Control Zone is declared, no person shall remove from, move within, or take into the Primary Control Zone a designated animal or thing without a CFIA-issued permit (section 3.3.2).
  • Impose graduated movement controls in zones within the Primary Control Zone with highly restrictive movement control in the infected zone (minimum 3 km) and the restricted zone (minimum 10 km) surrounding the positive FMD infected places to reduce aerosol exposure or potential exposure to fomites (section 3.3.3).
  • Investigate all movements of susceptible animals and potential contaminated fomites on to or off of positive FMD-infected places (tracing) since the estimated introduction of FMD (section 3.3.5).
  • Control the exposure of susceptible wildlife and potential mechanical transmission by non-susceptible mammals, birds, or insects (section 3.3.9).
  • Follow biosecurity and biocontainment principles (section 3.3.11).

3. Increase the resistance of susceptible animals to FMD virus as follows:

  • Establish immunity by potential use of emergency vaccination as a protective barrier (section 3.3.6).

4. Contain FMD within the Primary Control Zone as follows:

  • Declare the Primary Control Zone (Health of Animals Act, section 27) which corresponds to the OIE infected zone concept (Terrestrial Animal Health Code 2012, 8.5.3). (See section 3.3.10.)
  • Follow biosecurity and biocontainment principles (section 3.3.11).
  • Recognize disease-free compartments (if any developed prior to the outbreak) to permit the possibility of international negotiation for the continuance of trade (section 3.3.10).
  • Delineate a disease-free zone outside the Primary Control Zone to permit international negotiation for the continuance of trade. This may require the declaration of a Secondary Control Zone which corresponds to an OIE Protection Zone concept (Terrestrial Animal Health Code 2012, 8.5.3). The Secondary Control Zone would extend from the border of the Primary Control Zone to the external border of the Free Zone. A Secondary Control Zone would only be imposed if it was believed that there was the possibility of disease on an infected premises moving outside the Primary Control Zone. An infected premises found within the Free Zone would result in the whole of the Free Zone losing its status. The Secondary Control Zone would be imposed to provide a buffer function. If an infected premises were diagnosed within the Secondary Control Zone, it would not affect the status of the Free Zone. The Free Zone would be defined by the requirements specified in the Terrestrial Animal Health Code 2012. The EU considers that regionalization should be based on at least the administrative units (section 3.3.10).

3.3.1 Stamping-Out

Stamping-out is defined in the OIE's Terrestrial Animal Health Code as follows:

Means carrying out under the authority of the Veterinary Authority, on confirmation of a disease, the killing of the animals which are affected and those suspected of being affected in the herd and, where appropriate, those in other herds which have been exposed to infection by direct animal to animal contact, or by indirect contact of a kind likely to cause the transmission of the causal pathogen.

It includes what was previously defined as pre-emptive slaughter (in 2002). The definition includes appropriate destruction and disposal of carcasses. Clinically affected animals on positive FMD-infected premises have priority to minimize virus multiplication. All known exposed susceptible livestock on a positive FMD-infected place will also be ordered destroyed. Positive animals are targeted to be euthanized within 24 hours and other exposed susceptible animals within 48 hours. In most circumstances, unexposed susceptible animals on a positive FMD-infected premises will be slaughtered. Experience in FMD eradication in Europe and South America has demonstrated that destruction of all susceptible animals is necessary to eliminate FMD virus. Section 48 of the Act permits ordering the disposal of animals or things known to be infected or suspected of being infected, known to have been in contact with animals or things known to be infected or suspected of being infected, or known to be a vector or suspected of being a vector with/of a disease.

Stamping-out does not include contiguous cull (which is not in CFIA's plan), which can result in enormous livestock losses, as evidenced in the UK in 2001 and in Korea in 2010 prior to implementation of vaccination.

Public concerns about stamping-out and its previous association with contiguous cull necessitate a well-planned and proactive public relations and liaison campaign. Stakeholders, the general public, and the international community will be involved. In addition, mental health implications for owners and responders dealing with stamping-out of livestock should be considered.

3.3.2 Individual Premises Restrictions – Infected Place Declaration and Movement Control

Restricting or controlling the movement of infected animals, animal products and fomites; and Infected Place declaration are powerful tools in controlling and containing a FMD outbreak. All epidemiologically linked premises must be quarantined as suspect FMD-infected places and be subject to strict movement controls. Control of essential movements is accomplished through Form CFIA/ACIA 4204 – Declaration of an Infected Place and Form CFIA/ACIA 1509 – Licence for Removal of Animals or Things, allowing necessary movements without creating an unacceptable risk of disease spread.

Prior to the Ministerial Declaration, under section 27 of the Health of Animals Act to define a Primary Control Zone (section 3.3.3), a general provision exists under section 23 of the Act to individually declare Infected Place on all premises within 5 km of the limits of a premises where the disease has been suspected, presumed, or confirmed.

3.3.3 Area Movement Restrictions – Primary Control Zone

By default, no person shall remove from, move within, or take into the Primary Control Zone a designated animal or thing, except in accordance with a permit issued by the Minister. This removes the need for the CFIA to issue individual declarations of infected places. The declaration of the Primary Control Zone establishes the "OIE infected zone" and, by default, the remaining area of Canada that may become the "free zone" in the OIE context (section 3.3.9).

Note: the OIE's definition of "infected zone" corresponds to the CFIA's Primary Control Zone, not the current CFIA usage of "infected zone," which is as a subsection of the Primary Control Zone.

Following the Declaration of a Primary Control Zone (if appropriate) by the Minister, to allow graduated movement restrictions, the "zones" within the Primary Control Zone will be designated as follows:

Infected zone – A zone(s) that includes all the FMD-positive premises. The outer boundary of an Infected Zone is at least 3 km from any known infected premises. The delineation of the area may vary, depending on physical or geographic boundaries, and according to the progression of the outbreak.

Restricted zone – A zone established immediately surrounding the Infected Zone, using measures based on the epidemiology of the disease under consideration to prevent the spread of the causative animal pathogen. The outer boundary of this zone is at least 10 km from any known infected premises. This zone is the area in which aerosol spread of FMD may have occurred.

Security zone – The geographic area between the perimeter of the Restricted Zone and the edge of the Primary Control Zone. This zone is controlled and referred to as a Security Zone to prevent confusion with the area outside of the Primary Control Zone in which we believe the disease is not present. While CFIA has not diagnosed the disease within this security zone yet, there is a suspicion, based on initial movements that it may exist within this zone.

3.3.4 Strategic (Previously Pre-Emptive) Slaughter

Although pre-emptive slaughter was defined in the OIE's Terrestrial Animal Health Code in 2002, the definition was removed in 2004. It includes concepts related to the culling of all premises contiguous to infected places or at a certain geographical distance from infected places (known as ring culling). The definition was likely removed from the OIE's Terrestrial Animal Health Code because stamping out already incorporates the concept of killing high-risk exposed animals (those that have been in direct or indirect contact with infected animals or things). Such measures are typically associated with public outcry, such as the one observed following the application of a so-called contiguous culling or ring culling policy in the UK in 2001, where all farms within 3 km confirmed FMD-infected premises were pre-emptively culled. Also, the EU no longer uses the term "pre-emptive slaughter" to refer to ring-culling strategies. The Netherlands now uses the term "strategic culling" for this concept, where high densities of susceptible animals exist.

Following the UK outbreak in 2001, scientific research papers refuted the impact of the ring culling policy on the course of the outbreak, as it appears there was already a downward trend in the epidemiological curve. The ring culling policy more than doubled the numbers of animals to be killed with two inevitable operational effects: 1) the already limited resources available for culling and disposal was made even worse, increasing the waiting period from diagnosis-to-killing, possibly leading to further spread of disease; and 2) compensation sky-rocketed.

In this document and for CFIA policy, pre-emptive culling refers to the killing of high-risk exposed animals prior to their developing clinical signs, which is part of the stamping-out policy, and not destruction of healthy animals due to geographic proximity.

The use of strategic culling based on high densities of animals to avoid escalating transmission would be a consideration linked to decisions of suppressive vaccination, particularly in swine.

3.3.5 Tracing and Surveillance

Tracing investigations include those animals or fomites epidemiologically linked to the positive FMD-infected place. Movements of animals from a positive FMD-infected premises (trace-out) since the estimated introduction of FMD, as well as movement of animals into the infected premises (trace-in) for a critical period before the estimated first case, must be investigated. This critical period is generally 14 days for cattle and pigs (OIE Code) and 21 days for sheep and goats (EU Directive 2003/85) before the oldest lesion, based on the case history. Initially, for tracing the index case of an outbreak, a period of 28 days would be used (a number of countries use two incubation periods – 28 days), and would move to the OIE standard of 14 days once the outbreak was well-defined. The critical period is not a standard number, but considers the date of introduction (age of lesion) and the maximum incubation period, and therefore may be unique to the premises. Priority must be given to animal movements, although the possibility of contaminated fomites, such as transport vehicles and human traffic, also requres investigation.

Immediate surveillance will be required to assist in determining the extent of the outbreak and to provide some early guidance in defining an appropriate size for the Primary Control Zone. Prior to the declaration of a Primary Control Zone with its area movement restrictions, all premises within 5 km of an infected place may be individually declared infected places under section 23 of the Act. The CFIA does not have the authority to impose movement controls, except by declaring individual infected places prior to the Minister establishing the Primary Control Zone.

3.3.6 Vaccination

Emergency vaccination, which includes both suppressive and protective vaccination, is specifically defined in EU Directive 2003/85 and differs from blanket vaccination practised in FMD endemic or FMD-free with vaccination countries. Both approaches may be employed in Canada with vaccinate-to-slaughter associated with suppressive vaccination (used to reduce FMD virus production in herds or flocks that may already have been exposed to FMD) and vaccinate-to-live with protective vaccination (used to create an immune barrier in herds and flocks in a designated zone believed not to have been exposed to FMD virus).

At the beginning of an FMD outbreak, the North American Foot and Mouth Disease Vaccine Bank (NAFMDVB) will be activated, and an appropriate FMD vaccine will be obtained. The decision to vaccinate will be taken according to a number of factors, such as livestock density, speed of spread, and resource availability. Once there is a decision to vaccinate, it is important to utilize the vaccine quickly, reducing both the length and the number of premises involved in the outbreak. This could best be accomplished by having the farm owner or farm personnel vaccinate their own animals under the supervision of the CFIA.

FMD vaccinates will be permanently identified and subject to movement restrictions until a decision on their disposition is made. The long-term objective of the CFIA is a vaccinate-to-live policy, and the CFIA is working with international organizations toward mutual acceptance of DIVA tests, along with other control measures, to reach that goal. International acceptance of such measures so that there is no trade distinction between recovery of FMD country freedom in a vaccinate-to-live versus a vaccinate-to-slaughter policy will allow vaccinates to fulfil their productive lives without massive economic impacts. The Netherlands used emergency vaccination in March 2001, but slaughtered all vaccinates as economic analysis demonstrated that vaccinate-to-live would have been seven times more costly and result in five times the level of employment loss.

It is highly unlikely that Canada would ever employ vaccination-without-slaughter of affected animals (no stamping-out), the fourth policy option as defined by the OIE (section 2.8.3), as endemic FMD is not economically feasible. In addition, it is contrary to the international FAO/OIE initiative of global FMD control by 2050.

3.3.7 Treatment of Animal Products and By-Products

FMD may survive in animal products and by-products. Sections of the OIE's Terrestrial Animal Health Code 2012 chapter on FMD provide recognized treatments for inactivation of FMD virus for meat (8.5.34), for wool and hair (8.5.35), bristles (8.5.36), raw hides and skins (8.5.37), milk for humans (8.5.38), milk for animals (8.5.39), skins and trophies (8.5.40), and casings (8.5.41). Treatment of animal products and by-products in the Primary Control Zone would follow OIE standards for the destruction of FMD virus. The OIE's Terrestrial Animal Health Code 2012, in Article 8.5.11, describes transport to slaughter of FMD-susceptible animals out of the Primary Control Zone and treatment of their products and by-products. Such treatment could also be considered for vaccinates.

3.3.8 Decontamination

The persistence of FMD virus in the environment must be considered. Confirmed FMD-infected places, as well as vehicles and equipment, must be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected according to biocontainment principles in section 3.3.11 of this module. Organic matter may prevent the action of disinfectants, and thus makes cleaning before disinfection critical. If disinfection cannot be achieved effectively and quickly, then contaminated materials, equipment, and buildings should be destroyed. Animal fluids and excreta must be treated to eliminate infectious virus, or buried, incinerated, or composted. Select disinfectants specifically for the purpose at hand.

3.3.9 Wildlife and Vector Control

Implement a strategy to manage wildlife as soon as possible after diagnosis of the index case. This strategy must address both captive and free-ranging wildlife. Base this strategy on a risk assessment of the local population of wildlife to transmit FMD virus to susceptible livestock. The risk assessment should be based on the wildlife density and distribution, social organization, habitat, contact with domestic livestock, and the length of time that the wild animals were exposed to the virus.

Vector control is targeted at eliminating the limited potential for mechanical transmission by rodents and birds. Rodent control should be implemented immediately upon diagnosis of FMD, using approved rodenticides and licensed exterminators. Birds should be discouraged at infected premises during depopulation activities. The potential of infecting wildlife that may behave as a reservoir for livestock is discussed in section 2.4.3.

3.3.10 Zoning/Regionalization Outside the Primary Control Zone

International acceptance of the principle of zoning for FMD was first achieved by the OIE in 1992, and then by the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)/World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1993. The Terrestrial Animal Health Code outlines the requirements for establishing "free" and "infected" zones. (Note: The OIE's definition of "infected zone" corresponds to the CFIA's Primary Control Zone. See section 3.3.3.) Canada's FMD-free zones will be defined following a thorough epidemiological assessment of the origin and spread of FMD virus and by establishing the extent of the outbreak within the legislated Primary Control Zone. The delineation of a disease-free zone or zones outside the Primary Control Zone may require the declaration of a Secondary Control Zone which corresponds to an OIE Protection Zone concept (Terrestrial Animal Health Code 2012, 8.5.3). The Secondary Control Zone, if declared, would extend from the border of the Primary Control Zone to the external border of the free Zone. This will allow trade to be resumed from the balance of the country "Free Zone" (OIE Code, section 8.5.7). Surveillance to establish disease-free status and negotiation for recognition of such with international trading partners should be undertaken as soon as possible and according to section 8.5.47 of the Terrestrial Animal Health Code 2012.

Providing documentation to support the validity of the established OIE-infected zone (equivalent to CFIA Primary Control Zone) and OIE free zones will be critical to subsequent international negotiation. The use of geopolitical boundaries, such as provinces, may initially provide the most acceptable zones from an international perspective. Trade and movement of animals, animal products and goods, and means of transport as potential carriers must be strictly controlled. International acceptance of zoning is crucial in the decision to apply emergency vaccination.

3.3.11 Biosecurity and Biocontainment

Biosecurity may be defined as the measures taken to prevent the introduction of disease onto a premises. Biocontainment refers to the measures taken to prevent the spread of a disease from a premises.

The CFIA is responsible for eradicating outbreaks of FMD in animals. CFIA personnel or any other person that must enter premises declared infected must follow established biocontainment principles, as well as any additional measures the premises itself has instituted, to prevent the virus from spreading beyond the premises. Those who require entry to infected premises must demonstrate that they have the necessary biocontainment training before being authorized to work in a contaminated environment.

In addition to full compliance with the established protocols, these biocontainment principles include the following:

  • wearing personal protective equipment (PPE);
  • decontamination of objects that must be removed from the infected premises; and
  • taking a shower in situations in which the level of exposure to FMD virus is deemed as high.

3.4 FMD Case Definitions

3.4.1 Suspect Case

The EU Council Directive 2003/85/EC defines "animal suspected of being contaminated" as any animal of a susceptible species which, according to the epidemiological information collected, may have been directly or indirectly exposed to the FMD virus. The following case definition is adapted from this definition and is aligned with the definition in the Notifiable Avian Influenza Hazard Specific Plan.

A suspect case is defined as follows:

  • the presence of clinical signs or post-mortem lesions in susceptible animals consistent with FMD reported by a private practitioner, an owner, a provincial laboratory, or a veterinarian in charge (VIC) or district veterinarian (DV), and determined as high risk in collaboration with the Area FAD program officer (samples sent to the National Centre for Foreign Animal Disease, or NCFAD); or
  • all susceptible animals epidemiologically determined to have been exposed by direct or indirect contact to FMD virus.

3.4.2 Presumptive Case

The North American Food-and-Mouth Disease Vaccine Bank (NAFMDVB) Guidelines have defined presumptive and confirmed diagnosis as a basis for communication among Mexico, Canada, and the U.S. This case definition is adapted from the NAFMDVB presumptive diagnosis definition.

A presumptive case is defined as follows:

  • clinical signs or post-mortem lesions confirmed to be consistent with FMD have been investigated by a CFIA diagnostician or a veterinarian in charge (VIC) or a district veterinarian (DV), and determined as high risk in collaboration with the Area FAD program officer; and
  • there is an epidemiological link to other confirmed cases of FMD; or
  • CAHSN laboratory reports to NCFAD the determination of a "non-negative" FMD result; or
  • antibodies to structural or non-structural proteins of FMDV that are not a consequence of vaccination have been identified by NCFAD.Footnote 1

CFIA Operations may take action to eradicate the disease, based on a presumptive diagnosis of FMD.

3.4.3 Confirmed Case

For Official Confirmation (Confirmed Diagnosis of Index Case)

Confirmed diagnosis of the index case should only be made on samples obtained at the farm by CFIA personnel. All samples obtained through third parties (i.e. lab referral) can only be considered presumptive.

In the index case a confirmed case is adapted from the OIE Code 8.5.1 (2011), as follows:

  • the FMD virus has been isolated and identified by NCFAD; or
  • NCFAD has identified viral antigen or RNA-specific to FMD in samples from one or more animals that are either showing clinical signs consistent with FMD or are epidemiologically linked to a confirmed outbreak of FMD; or
  • antibodies to structural or non-structural proteins of FMDV, which are not a consequence of vaccination, have been identified by NCFAD with clinical signs consistent with FMD or an epidemiological link to a confirmed outbreak.Footnote 2

Subsequent to the confirmation of the index case, a confirmed case will be defined as follows:

  1. Within the Primary Control Zone (or within 5 km of the index case prior to the Primary Control Zone being declared):

    • the FMDV has been isolated and identified by NCFAD; or
    • NCFAD or an approved CAHSN Laboratory has identified viral antigen or RNA specific to FMD; or
    • NCFAD has identified antibodies to structural or non-structural proteins of FMDV, which are not a consequence of vaccination.

    Eradication activities will also be initiated on the following:

    • the presence of clinical signs of a vesicular disease; and one of the following:
      • epidemiological link to a confirmed case; or
      • NCFAD or CAHSN laboratory positive viral antigen or RNA for FMD; or
      • positive results on a pen-side test (when validated by NCFAD, as currently pen-side tests lack sensitivity. (Refer to paragraph on lateral flow devices [LFDs].)

    Collecting specimens on premises with a confirmed FMD case is important to detect viral antigen, virus isolation, and nucleic acid determination by NCFAD in view of subsequent molecular epidemiological investigations. Field action will not necessarily be dependent upon receiving laboratory results.

  2. Outside the Primary Control Zone:

    The determination of suspect and presumptive cases will be as described in 3.4.1 and 3.4.2, respectively, with a confirmed case being defined as follows:

    • NCFAD having isolated and identified the FMD virus; or
    • viral antigen or RNA-specific to FMD has been identified at NCFAD in samples from one or more animals showing clinical signs consistent with FMD or being epidemiologically linked to a confirmed outbreak of FMD; or
    • antibodies to structural or non-structural proteins of FMDV, which are not a consequence of vaccination, have been identified by NCFAD with clinical signs consistent with FMD or an epidemiological link to a confirmed outbreak.Footnote 2

    Although the confirmation of a new case outside the Primary Control Zone requires virus isolation or the detection of viral antigen/RNA for FMD, eradication procedures may be initiated if the declaration of an infected place is deemed insufficient to control spread. The Area or National Incident Commander makes this decision. Such confirmatory testing is essential prior to modifying the disease control zones or extension of the Primary Control Zone.

In January 2011, Lateral Flow Devices (LFDs) were evaluated as potential pen-side tests for FMDV antigen by Science and Programs branches. Pen-side tests, using the current LFD technologies, are not recommended for use, either in the investigation of a suspect case or during an outbreak. High amounts of FMDV are needed for LFDs to work correctly. These amounts are only present in sufficient quantities in vesicles and vesicular epithelium from lesions that are easily detected clinically. By the time sufficient FMDV is detectable for LFDs to work and vesicular samples collected, animals will already be exhibiting typical clinical signs. Sensitivity is not good (just above 80%), leading to a high number of false negatives if sufficient virus is not present. Further, although generic monoclonals for all seven serotypes have been described in the literature, generally, LFDs are FMD-serotype specific and may have particularly low sensitivity for certain serotypes. When PCR tests for FMD virus RNA are further developed for field use (at lower cost and easier to use), they will be considered.

3.5 Emergency Response Organization

When a high-risk FMD specimen is submitted to confirm diagnosis, the Area and national emergency response teams are alerted. Depending on the risk, control and eradication procedures can take place prior to a confirmed diagnosis.

The geographic borders of the Primary Control Zone, as well as the designated animal or thing capable of being affected or contaminated by the disease or toxic substance, is defined in the Ministerial declaration. No person shall remove from, move within, or take into the primary control zone a designated animal or thing, except in accordance with a permit issued by the CFIA.

A Field Operation Centre is set up at the discretion of the field incident commander to deal with the field activities. Satellite control centres are established as necessary. An emergency operations centre (EOC) is established at the Area office and at Headquarters in Ottawa. The centres support the field activities in terms of disease policy, legal aspects, communications, consultations with industry, international relations, interregional liaison, etc.

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