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The Role of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA)

The CFIA is prohibiting importation of susceptible animals and animal products from the EU and Argentina . The CFIA has suspended the issuance of import permits for live animals, semen, embryos and animal products from susceptible animals. As a precaution, the CFIA is investigating whether there are any import permits that have been issued but not used, and is tracing any products that have entered Canada recently.

The CFIA and the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency (CCRA) have increased surveillance of passengers and baggage arriving on international flights. This will result in increased detector dog activity and secondary referrals to the CCRA. Travellers from countries susceptible to FMD are required to follow simple but effective disinfectant procedures at Canadian international airports.

Compliance investigations for the handling and disposal of international garbage at airports and seaports have been increased. The Department of National Defence has developed, in cooperation with the CFIA, a national directive on biosecurity measures for incoming personnel and equipment. The entry of vehicles that have been in use in the UK has been suspended pending stabilization of the outbreak. This is being kept under review.

An outbreak of FMD in Canada would be a national disaster. Failure to recognize and prepare for the damage that the disease could cause to our national fabric would be irresponsible - on the part of both government and industry.

Emergency preparedness is a key component of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's National Animal Health Program. Effective management of foreign animal disease emergencies requires a comprehensive risk-based approach: prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery. The CFIA has developed contingency measures in the event of an outbreak of foreign animal disease.