Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Animal-disease agreement inked

  • Print

CANADA and the U.S. have entered into a groundbreaking agreement to recognize each other's zoning measures when it comes to outbreaks of contagious animal diseases.

It will mean in the event of future localized outbreaks of animal diseases such as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), trade in live animals or animal parts from areas outside the affected area will be able to carry on.

Canadian Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz said the new agreement, announced Wednesday in Winnipeg, could protect hundreds of millions of dollars, if not billions, in trade.

"It will help prevent or limit highly contagious animal disease from spreading from one country to the other and at the same time the agreements avoid unnecessary trade disruption and protect livestock herds," Ritz said.

He said if such an agreement had been in place in 2003 when there was an outbreak of BSE in Western Canada, it might have allowed trade in cattle and beef from Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada to continue.

"We have a choke point in Canada at West Hawk Lake. That is our critical zoning point," Ritz said. "If this agreement was in place in 2003, there would have been no reason to close out Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada for shipments of beef into the U.S."

The agreement is part of the Beyond the Border Action Plan initiative between Prime Minister Stephen Harper and U.S. President Barack Obama. It is one of 29 different regulatory co-operative initiatives being worked on between the two countries.

Ian Alexander, Canada's chief veterinary officer, said, "In practical terms, the detection of animal disease on one side of the border will not automatically trigger long-term border closures for particular animals or food commodities."

He said there is still some number of months of work remaining to finalize the details of the plan.

Cam Dahl, general manager of Manitoba Beef Producers, praised the agreement.

"It is very good news," he said. "Hopefully it will not have to be used, but if something did arise, it could be worth billions."

martin.cash@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 17, 2013 B3

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Preview: RMTC's Armstrong's War

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Carolyn Kavanagh(10) had this large dragonfly land on her while spending time at Winnetka Lake, Ontario. photo by Andrea Kavanagh (mom0 show us your summer winnipeg free press
  • Marc Gallant/Winnipeg Free Press. Gardening Column- Assiniboine Park English Garden. July 19, 2002.

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Are you in favour of the Harper government's new 'family tax cut'?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google