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Further Protection For Aquatic Animal Resources

CANADA - Canada has further strengthened its ability to protect aquatic animal health and ensure the aquatic animal industry remains strong.

New regulations require all suspected or confirmed cases of serious aquatic animal diseases to be reported the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).

The CFIA has amended the Reportable Diseases Regulations to include 20 diseases that pose serious risks to aquatic animal health, international trade, and the economy.

"These amendments underscore the Government of Canada's commitment to protecting our thriving aquaculture industry, which provides consumers around the world with top-quality seafood," said Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz.

"Canada is now better positioned to act quickly when serious aquatic animal diseases are detected."

"Fishers and seafood processors are a vital part of communities across Canada," said Fisheries and Oceans Minister Gail Shea.

"Protecting Canada's aquatic resources remains a top priority for this Government, and I'm pleased with the cooperation among all parties to implement these important regulatory changes."

These amendments complement the recent changes to the Health of Animals Regulations, which enabled the CFIA to implement the National Aquatic Animal Health Program. This science-based program helps protect finfish, molluscs and crustaceans from aquatic diseases.

The new measures ensure Canada meets the standards set by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) for preventing disease spreading from the trade of live animals or high-risk products.

These regulatory amendments were the result of extensive consultations with the federal, provincial and territorial governments, industry and stakeholders.

the Fish Site Editor

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