The World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) has issued a report saying Canada has one of the best veterinary services in the world.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency asked the OIE to conduct a review and now says the report “highlights Canada's strengths as a world leader in the safe trade of animals and animal products, and shows our strong commitment to transparency and continuous improvement. The results were among the best in the world.”
The evaluation involved federal, provincial and territorial governments and representatives from the private veterinary sector, academia and veterinary regulators.
The OIE evaluated 45 critical veterinary competencies to measure Canada against the OIE's standards.
“Canada met the highest level in 35 of these areas, with a rating of 5/5, which indicates high capacity and capability, and full compliance with international standard,” the CFIA says on its website.
“The remainder were rated 3 or 4, many in areas where regulatory changes are already in progress.
“The expert OIE evaluators commended Canada's veterinary services in several areas, including the following:
- excellent staffing, physical resources and funding
- strong systems of management, auditing, review and revision well-established functional programs
- high capability in laboratory diagnostics and research, risk analysis, border control, disease surveillance and control, and emergency preparedness and response
- well-developed interaction with stakeholders, with excellent communication and consultation on numerous joint programs
- excellent international harmonization and representation
“Some opportunities to further strengthen veterinary services include:
- working to improve information management and develop integrated databases
- completing regulatory reforms already in progress, including regulations related to animal welfare, feed, veterinary drugs and food safety
- working toward electronic, life-long, animal traceability capability
- engaging with industry to identify opportunities for cost sharing in managing animal health
- improving the management of food safety at some provincial/territorial abattoirs.”
The reviewers also recommended that Canada regionalize the country for better disease control. That way if a disease shows up, it can be contained in a region.
It also calls for improved import quarantine measures.