Healthy Animals, Healthy Canada
OTTAWA, Sept. 22, 2011 /CNW/ - Increased global trade and migration,
higher population densities, and climate change all affect the nature
of risks associated with animal diseases and human health. The pace of
these changes, the growing interconnectedness of so many risks and
consequences, and the potential impact of mitigation strategies make
the process of assessing and managing risks increasingly complex.
To better understand these evolving 21st century challenges, the Council of Canadian Academies brought together
a group of 12 eminent experts to discuss how Canada can remain at the
forefront of animal health risk assessment practices, therefore
protecting the health of animals, people, the environment, and economy.
Today, the Council released the Expert Panel's report, Healthy Animals, Healthy Canada. The report, sponsored by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA),
is an evidence-based, independent assessment of approaches to animal
health risk assessment in Canada.
"The well-being of animals and humans and the environment in which we
live are linked in many ways," said Dr. Alastair Cribb, Professor and
Dean of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Calgary
and Chair of the Expert Panel. "These links have become very apparent
over the last decade as countries around the world have experienced,
for example, SARS, BSE and H1N1. After examining the evidence, the
Panel determined that although animal health risk assessment in Canada
is built on a solid foundation of knowledge and expertise, risk
assessment practices can be enhanced by taking a more integrated
The Panel also found that in order for Canada to stay at the forefront
of animal health risk assessment there are numerous activities that can
be improved such as: strengthening expertise and knowledge capacity;
considering a broader range of consequences related to an animal health
event; improving communication among risk assessors, managers and
stakeholders; enhancing the transparency of the decision-making
process; and setting aside resources for foresight assessments.
"CFIA should be commended for putting forward such an important question
for assessment," said Elizabeth Dowdeswell, President and CEO of the
Council of Canadian Academies. "We are confident that the Panel's
report will provide the evidence needed to assist CFIA and other
organizations as they consider the future of animal health risk
assessment in Canada."
To access the Media Backgrounder please visit: www.scienceadvice.ca/en/animal-health.aspx.
For more information, or to download a free copy of the report in
English or French, please visit www.scienceadvice.ca/en/animal-health.aspx.
About the Council of Canadian Academies
The Council of Canadian Academies is an independent, not-for-profit
corporation that began operation in 2005. The Council supports
evidence-based, expert assessments (studies) to inform public policy
development in Canada. Assessments are conducted by independent,
multidisciplinary panels of experts from across Canada and abroad. The
Council's reports are published and made available to the public free
of charge in English and French. For information please visit the
Council's website at www.scienceadvice.ca.
SOURCE Council of Canadian Academies
For further information:
Council of Canadian Academies
Cell: 613.302.6174 / Office: 613.567.5000 x 228