OTTAWA, ONTARIO - The Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the Canadian Cattlemen's Association (CCA) are releasing a national biosecurity standard to strengthen Canada's beef sector.

The standard outlines on-farm practices designed to minimize the introduction and control the spread of endemic, emerging, and foreign infectious diseases in the Canadian herd.

"Canadian beef producers know that quality products come from healthy stock," said Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. "Employing practices that contribute to the health of the industry and the animals on farm makes good sense."

"On-farm biosecurity is one of the front lines of prevention for managing the risk of animal diseases for cattle producers," said CCA president Martin Unrau. "This standard will provide the industry with a valuable tool to reduce the risk of disease entering cattle operations."

Many of the practices outlined in the standard are already in use on beef cattle operations throughout Canada. The standard is a tool that producers can use to measure their biosecurity practices on farm.

The standard is built on four basic principles:

  • managing and minimizing the risks associated with animal movement;
  • managing the movement of people, vehicles, equipment and tools;
  • managing animal health practices, such as buying feed from reliable sources; and
  • fostering employee knowledge and training on biosecurity practices and principles.

The standard was developed over two years, in consultation with producers, industry associations, academia, and provincial governments through funding provided by the Growing Forward policy initiative of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. It was designed specifically for the Canadian beef cattle industry, and is applicable to farm-level operations of all types and sizes.

To request a copy of the Canadian Beef Cattle On-Farm Biosecurity Standard or for more information on biosecurity, visit www.inspection.gc.ca/biosecurity.