About the CVR

The CVMA launched the CVR program in November 2006 in partnership with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). The CVR was established in response to a number of concerning animal disease events including:

  • the 2004 outbreak of Avian Influenza
  • 2003’s outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in Canada, and
  • The 2001 outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease in Europe.

The CVR program was established to assist Canadian federal, provincial, and territorial governments in responding to large-scale emergencies affecting large numbers of animals.


The CVR is a nationally and internationally recognized emergency response partner that is available to be called upon by first-responders in the event of large-scale animal disease outbreaks and natural or manmade disasters affecting animal health and welfare.


The CVR provides veterinary surge capacity to first-responders to address animal health and welfare issues arising from large-scale emergencies and disasters.


At present, CVR membership is open to veterinarians only.

Canadian veterinarians provide their expertise and services to assist in animal health and welfare emergencies to benefit society in general and animals in particular.

The CVR and Foreign Animal Disease Response

When a foreign animal disease is suspected or detected in Canada, the CFIA leads the emergency response to control and eradicate the disease. If a disease outbreak is very large in scale, or if the response to control it is prolonged, the CFIA may require additional veterinary expertise to assist their own teams or to provide rest and relief for CFIA teams. The CVR may be called to supplement CFIA resources and/or provide the CFIA with the opportunity to rest their teams. This veterinary “surge capacity” is the primary service the CVR provides.

The CVR in Natural and Man-Made Disasters and Emergencies

Animal disease is not the only threat to the health and welfare of animals in Canada and around the world. In addition to the CVR’s primary role of providing surge capacity to the CFIA, the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association’s CVR program is also responsive to the needs of animals in large-scale disasters in Canada as well as animal disease emergencies and large-scale disasters internationally.