July 24, 2023
As part of the annual conference of Federal, Provincial and Territorial Ministers of Agriculture, Canadian Ministers confirmed their commitment to respond to animal disease outbreaks through the establishment of a foot-and-mouth disease vaccine bank. Budget 2023 committed $57.5 million over 5 years, with $5.6 million ongoing, to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to establish an FMD Vaccine Bank for Canada, and to develop FMD response plans.
This funding will provide Canada with a dedicated vaccine source to support the CFIA and industry in the event of an outbreak. The bank will be another tool for Canada to support animal disease prevention and management, and help stop the spread of disease in an outbreak. This investment complements Canada's current access to vaccines through the North American Foot and Mouth Disease Vaccine Bank, ensuring readily available vaccines for Canadian producers.
"The creation of a vaccine bank for foot-and-mouth disease in Canada means that during a potential outbreak, we have the ability to reduce the duration and spread by half. The new vaccine bank will add to Canada's existing emergency response plans to limit the impacts of an FMD outbreak, support our farmers and the livestock industry in Canada. The FMD Vaccine Bank is one part of Canada's commitment to protect the health of our animals, the resilience of our livestock industry, and enable Canadian producers to continue to access international markets," said The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.
Canada's new FMD Vaccine Bank will consist of concentrated FMD vaccines that can be rapidly transformed into usable vaccines in a timely and cost-effective manner. Vaccines are an important part of an effective and efficient disease response that will help to maintain public confidence in the Canadian food supply, limit the economic impact on Canadian producers, and help mitigate prolonged market disruptions to trade.
At the annual FPT conference, Ministers discussed the guiding principles of Canada's FMD vaccine bank, with a focus on:
optimizing the benefit for Canada
supporting sector resiliency
collaborating across sectors
remaining forward looking and innovative
In fall 2023, the CFIA will launch a transparent and competitive procurement process to establish Canada's FMD Vaccine Bank.
"The FMD Vaccine Bank is a key investment in emergency preparedness to ensure the health of Canadian livestock. Having a vaccine on hand in the event of an FMD outbreak will reduce the potential number of animals to be infected and in turn reduce the magnitude of a complex multi-species emergency response effort. We live in a global economy which relies on the movement of people, animals and goods for trade. This means a potential outbreak of FMD is only one flight away. Having the FMD Vaccine Bank in place is a critical piece of insurance for Canadian farmers," said Colleen McElwain, executive director, Animal Health Canada
Canada has been free from FMD since 1952, and strict measures are in place to prevent the disease from entering Canada. An outbreak would impact Canada's ability to export these animals to other markets and could cost an estimated $19.4 billion to $65.2 billion in potential impacts on the economy.
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