The two following drafts are from the Equine Bio-Security Advisory committee that was struck by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to address horse health issues. The proposed strategies are important to the herd health and the equine industry is invited to respond on both respective strategies

Proposed Risk Management Strategy for Equine Infectious Anemia Control in Canada

“The purpose of this Proposed Risk Management Strategy (PRMS) is to provide a summary of the disease, current program challenges, feedback from early consultations with the Equine Biosecurity Advisory Committee (EBAC) on a range of possible program redesign options, and a potential future strategy. The CFIA is using this PRMS as a tool for consulting with Canadian equine stakeholders to determine if there is support to further explore an EIA control option which necessitates continued federal involvement. Comments from the stakeholder consultation will be used to inform a decision on future program redesign efforts.”

Please submit written comments via email to [email protected] by June 30, 2015.

Written comments may also be sent by facsimile to (613) 773-7573 to the attention of Dr. Carolyn James, Domestic Disease Control Programs.

National Farm-Level Biosecurity Standard for Horses in Canada

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) and equine industry stakeholders are working together to develop a farm-level biosecurity standard that will help protect Canada’s equine industry from animal diseases.

A national Equine Biosecurity Advisory Committee has been established to develop this voluntary standard that will provide a common approach to preventing and controlling disease in facilities where horses are housed and kept.

The equine biosecurity standard will:

  • provide guidelines for effective biosecurity practices;
  • promote a consistent approach to reducing the risks of established, emerging and foreign animal diseases;
  • enhance equine health, welfare and productivity;
  • minimize the frequency, scope and impact of disease outbreaks;
  • increase industry’s knowledge of the risks associated with diseases; and
  • identify potential gaps in current control measures.

Good biosecurity practices limit the exposure to animal diseases. These practices allow the routine movement, transport and assembly of horses to continue, preserving the sustainability of the equine industry.

“Infectious diseases are a real risk in the equine industry that we cannot simply neglect or eliminate, however we can manage them,” said Dr. Daniel Schwartz, Veterinary Biosecurity Specialist with the Animal Health, Welfare and Biosecurity Division with the CFIA. “The biosecurity standard is a tool to assist horse owners and custodians in protecting horse health on farms and facilities by minimizing the risks of the transmission of infectious diseases.  Horse owners and custodians, in consultation with their veterinarian, can use the biosecurity guidelines and best practices in the standard to develop a biosecurity plan to manage the risks on their farms and facilities.”

“Through the standard, we hope to ensure the health and welfare of Canadian horses and the success of Canada’s horse industry,” added Schwartz.

As part of a larger consultation process the draft is posted online. All industry stakeholders are encouraged to review the draft and communicate their feedback.

Funding to develop the standard has been provided under the Growing Forward 2 Agricultural Policy Framework.