Government of Canada

Government of Canada

January 24, 2008 11:53 ET

Government of Canada Announces Commitment of $660,000 to Foot and Mouth Disease Prevention and Preparedness in South America

BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA--(Marketwire - Jan. 24, 2008) - Ted Menzies, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance and Member of Parliament for Macleod, Alberta, at a meeting with senior Argentinean agriculture officials, announced today that the Government of Canada is committing $660,000 over the next two years to assist governments in South America in efforts to eradicate foot and mouth disease (FMD).

Mr. Menzies made the announcement on behalf the Honourable Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, and the Honourable Maxime Bernier, Minister of Foreign Affairs

"Canada has state-of-the-art scientific expertise and technologies for FMD management that can benefit other countries," said Minister Ritz. "In sharing these capabilities, Canada also benefits by strengthening international relationships and gathering strategic information to enhance our own foreign animal disease management strategies."

Canada's contribution will include laboratory equipment and training in FMD diagnostic technologies and computer simulation modelling to assess, predict and mitigate FMD outbreaks.

"This initiative is in keeping with our efforts to play an active role in the Americas - and help our hemispheric neighbours build a better future together," said Minister Bernier. "In addition, by addressing emerging diseases and other threats beyond our borders, we can increase security for the Canadian public and economy."

"We recognize that international cooperation is an increasingly critical component of managing and eradicating global animal disease threats," added Mr. Menzies. "This initiative is a good example of Canada's commitment to international efforts to address FMD."

Canada's contribution is being delivered in cooperation with the Pan-American Health Organization's FMD Centre for South America and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture of the Organization of American States.

Foot and Mouth Disease is a severe, highly communicable viral disease of cattle and swine. It also affects sheep, goats, deer and other cloven-hoofed ruminants. An outbreak of FMD can have severe impacts on animal populations and national economies. Canada has been free of FMD since 1952.

Canada's commitment to international partnership in the management and eradication of FMD in the western hemisphere was further advanced in July 2007 with the appointment of a Canadian as the Director for North America on the Inter-American Group for the Eradication of Foot-and-Mouth Disease. These initiatives highlight the Government of Canada's re-engagement in the Hemisphere. Canada's focus on the Americas seeks to increase prosperity and improve security throughout the Hemisphere, as well as to promote Canada's fundamental values of freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law.

For additonal information about FMD, visit the Canadian Food Inspection Agency web site at:

http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/anima/heasan/disemala/fmdfie/inf_e.shtml

Contact Information

  • Canadian Food Inspection Agency
    Media Relations
    613-228-6682
    or
    Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
    Media relations
    613-995-1874