Canadian Food Inspection Agency

Canadian Food Inspection Agency

October 25, 2005 23:38 ET

Minister's Statement

STATEMENT BY THE HONOURABLE ANDY MITCHELL, MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE AND AGRI-FOOD AND MINISTER RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CANADIAN FOOD INSPECTION AGENCY Attention: Agriculture Editor, Assignment Editor, Business/Financial Editor, News Editor, Science Editor OTTAWA/ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Oct. 25, 2005) - I am very pleased with the Australian Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry's decision to immediately remove import restrictions from live Canadian birds. This has been an unfortunate situation, but the speed with which we've reached a solution is indicative of the strong relationship our countries enjoy.

Minister McGauran and I had a discussion shortly after this issue arose. We agreed that science must be the guiding principle in decisions to safeguard human and animal health. I emphasized that Canada remains free of highly pathogenic avian influenza and none of the pigeons shipped to Australia posed threats to human or animal health.

Over the past few days, technical officials from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the Australian Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry worked together to discuss issues and align import and export procedures. These are consistent with the new Australian import policies announced today, which can be immediately met by Canada. This effort builds on a long history of animal disease control collaboration and recognizes Canada's internationally recognized disease control system.

Avian influenza is a serious concern. Import controls, rigorous biosecurity measures and active monitoring of birds across the country combine to reduce the threat within Canada. Beyond our borders, we take very seriously our responsibility to contribute to the global control of this disease. Animal disease experts from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency will continue to cooperate with Australia and other countries on import and export operational issues in the future.
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For information:

Matt Tolley
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
(613) 759-1059

Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Media relations: (613) 228-6682

Contact Information

  • Canadian Food Inspection Agency Media Relations, Canadian Food Inspection Agency
    Primary Phone: 613-228-6682