OTTAWA, Ontario — The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and the Canadian Cattlemen's Association (CCA) are releasing a national biosecurity standard designed specifically for the country's beef industry.

The standard outlines on-farm practices aimed at minimizing the introduction and controlling the spread of endemic, emerging, and foreign infectious diseases in the Canadian herd. The standard is applicable to farm-level operations of all types and sizes. It was developed over two years, and included input from producers, industry associations, academia, and provincial governments.

"On-farm biosecurity is one of the front lines of prevention for managing the risk of animal diseases for cattle producers," said Martin Unrau, CCA president. "This standard will provide the industry with a valuable tool to reduce the risk of disease entering cattle operations."

The standard is based on four principles:

• managing and minimizing the risks associated with animal movement;
• managing the movement of people, vehicles, equipment and tools;
• managing animal health practices, such as buying feed from reliable sources; and
• fostering employee knowledge and training on biosecurity practices and principles.

"Canadian beef producers know that quality products come from healthy stock," said Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. "Employing practices that contribute to the health of the industry and the animals on farm makes good sense."