May 30, 2008, Ottawa, Ont. – The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is enhancing notifiable avian influenza (AI) surveillance for commercial poultry flocks in Canada, in collaboration with provincial and territorial governments and territorial poultry industry representatives.
A new program called the Canadian Notifiable Avian Influenza Surveillance System (CanNAISS) has been designed to meet the current NAI guidelines from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) and new trade requirements from the European Union (EU) that take effect in January 2009. NAI is defined by the OIE as all avian influenza type A viruses with high pathogenicity and all H5 and H7 subtypes with high or low pathogenicity.
CanNAISS will enhance Canada's on-going surveillance program and provide information about NAI viruses in Canada's domestic poultry flocks that will be required for Canadian poultry producers and processors to continue doing business internationally.
Canada is planning to test about 1000 commercial poultry flocks before the end of December 2008. It is expected that sample collection will start in July 2008. The program will be phased into various commercial groups. The first round of sampling to be completed in 2008 will include on-farm testing of chickens, turkeys and spent hens prior to slaughter. Sampling of commercial ducks, geese and other poultry categories will start in 2009.
Producers whose flocks are chosen for random sampling will be contacted by their processor and/or the CFIA.
Over the coming weeks, details of how the program will be implemented, including timing, roles and responsibilities of stakeholders, will be finalized and communicated to all producers and other affected industry members.
Questions regarding CanNAISS can be directed to industry associations or to the CFIA .
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