The Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food announced that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is taking precautionary actions in response to the recent confirmation of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) in the United Kingdom.


"Canada's New Government is acting quickly and taking all necessary steps to safeguard the health of our animals. The protection of Canadian livestock and related industry sectors is a top priority for us," said Minister Strahl. "We are encouraged by the swift disease control actions of the United Kingdom and we remain ready to take any further animal health measures required."

FMD is a contagious viral disease that affects a range of animals including cattle, swine, sheep and goats. Human cases are extremely rare and normally characterized by a mild rash.

No susceptible animals or animal products from the United Kingdom are being permitted entry into Canada. In addition, the CFIA is reviewing records to identify whether Canada has imported any at-risk animals or products during the last three months.

Information gathered to date indicates that bovine semen is the only commodity of potential concern that recently entered Canada. Although the imported semen did not originate from the area in which FMD was detected, the CFIA is proceeding with vigilance to rule out any possible routes of exposure. Over the coming days, this and any other imports identified will be traced and assessed for risk to animal health.

The CFIA remains in close contact with authorities from the United Kingdom to monitor this situation.

Canada is currently free of FMD and strict measures are in place to prevent the virus from entering the country. Live animals are subject to comprehensive import controls, and only cooked or properly sealed meat is allowed into Canada from countries that have FMD. Travellers entering Canada are required to declare all animals and animal products, and must also report if they have been on a farm or exposed to animals while in another country.

The CFIA has a detailed FMD response plan. In the event that the virus was detected in Canadian animals, the CFIA, in concert with provincial authorities and industry, would act decisively to identify, contain and eliminate any and all outbreaks.

Canadian Food Inspection Agency