Animal Health and Care

The Animal Health and Care Committee promotes policies that mitigate the threat of foreign animal diseases, protect the health of our domestic herd, and build confidence that our production practices promote and protect the welfare of our stock.

CCA is engaged in preparedness work to bolster ourselves against the threat of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) virus. Our industry is reliant on market access and international trade and any incursion of FMD would close borders to live animal and meat trade until freedom from the virus was demonstrated. In 2023, CCA lobby for a Canadian FMD Vaccine Bank came to fruition. Importantly, this included a substantial investment for preparedness work. We are working with government and other at-risk industries to operationalize vaccine delivery plans should ‘The Bank’ ever be needed. This is the first step in a vision to modernize the beef sector’s FMD plans and ensure every operation is informed and has access to the necessary tools to prepare.

The 3 pillars of disease prevention & preparedness are biosecurity, surveillance, and traceability. In 2023, the proposed revisions to the Health of Animals Act Traceability Regulations were published in Canada Gazette 1. This milestone was achieved after a decade of collaborative work between the beef sector and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). Our efforts resulted in revisions that closely followed the Cattle Implementation Plan which is our roadmap to a sustainable, effective and efficient traceability system. We will continue to advocate for a system that is feasible to comply with, affordable, and benefits our sector. CCA is convening stakeholders to ensure technology is available that enables participation and provides value to producers.

Animal welfare includes, but goes beyond, animal health. While CCA works to prevent the one-off catastrophes such as FMD, we must also strive to deliver excellence in animal welfare and tell our story. The Codes of Practice provide a standard for welfare practices. CCA will be leading a revision and update to the Beef Codes of Practice, beginning in 2024. An updated Code of Practice will continue to build the confidence of consumers, retailers, and regulators while demonstrating our commitment to continuous improvement.