Winnipeg, Man. – The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives (MAFRI) have partnered to share information and improve national traceability.
The agreement will help to strengthen food safety and animal health management in Manitoba and across the country.
“This partnership is another way the Government of Canada is working to help the agriculture industry respond quickly and effectively to a food or animal health issue,” says Gerry Ritz, Canada’s Agriculture minister.
Manitoba’s Agriculture minister, Ron Kostyshyn, explains that natural disasters and disease outbreaks can have serious and negative impacts on the agriculture industry and its producers.
He goes onto say that this new agreement will link Manitoba’s well-established Premises Identification Program, which is used to help manage animal health emergencies, to other federal and provincial systems.
Provinces are responsible for identifying and verifying premises. The federal government is the lead on animal identification and movement reporting. This partnership will allow the CFIA and MAFRI to share information and coordinate efforts to more effectively deal with issues such as livestock diseases that can threaten animal health and food safety.
During Canada’s last outbreak of avian influenza, the CFIA used Manitoba’s well-established Premises Identification Program and mapping capacity to locate farms at risk. The province is currently working with the poultry industry to expand the capacity to alert producers to potential biosecurity risks.
A similar information-sharing agreement was signed between the CFIA and Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development in 2009.
This initiative is in line with the commitments made by federal, provincial and territorial agriculture ministers in 2006 to phase-in the National Agriculture and Food Traceability System, beginning with livestock and poultry.