In March, I had the opportunity to attend to the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association’s (CCA) Animal Health and Care Committee annual meeting virtually on March 17, 2021. There were many topics discussed and I will highlight some of them that I think would be interesting to young producers.
First was the ongoing discussion of a vaccine bank in case of a foot and mount disease outbreak. At this point in time Canada does not have enough vaccines in the event of an emergency situation. CCA is strongly encouraging the government for a vaccine bank.
An Ultra High Frequency tag trial at the Picture Butte Feeder Cooperation started in 2020. It is a trial put on by the feeder association for use in feedlots in a commercial environment. It will be expanded to five other locations in 2021 as well. There was also discussion from a trial participant and he was very positive about it so far.
There’s a new rest stop facility near Kapiskasing ONT, called the Feed and Water Cow Mootel. This rest stop has been in operation since fall 2020 and currently has the capacity for 3-4 semi-trailers of feeder cattle, with ability to expand if demand is there.
There was an update on Transport Canada’s changes to the Commercial Vehicle Drivers Hours of Service Regulations. These regulations come into effect in June 2021 and will mandate the use of Electronic Logging Devices for commercial livestock haulers. CCA has heard concerns from livestock truckers on these new regulations and have expressed these concerns to Transport Canada.
Animal Health Emergency Management (AHEM) has developed producer handbooks and provincial association plans. AHEM is working closely with CCA to develop a National Emergency Response Framework. A working draft of the beef framework has been developed and next steps include a comprehensive test to help identify where gaps in the plan remain along with confirming strengths of the plan.
The National Farm Animal Care Council continues to be active on a number of files including updating the Codes of Practice. Transportation is the focus with the recently released Humane Transportation Regulations.
The CCA is also please to see that Canada is one step closer to attaining BSE negligible risk status. During the Animal Health and Care Committee meeting, CFIA National Coordinator BSE Program, Aman Bath, updated the committee on Canada’s BSE negligible risk application to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). CFIA received notification earlier in March that Canada has received a recommendation by the OIE’s Scientific Commission to grant Canada the negligible status for BSE risk. The recommendation will then be put to a vote by the delegates at the 88th General Assembly at the end of May. Negligible risk status would help facilitate expanded access to foreign markets for various beef products currently limited by BSE era restrictions.