CVMA | General Information about the CVR

General Information about the CVR

The 2004 outbreak of Avian Influenza in British Columbia, 2003’s outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in Canada and the 2001 outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease in the UK and Europe, demonstrated the need for Canada to be increasingly prepared for animal disease outbreaks affecting both animals and humans.

Ottawa, February 19, 2004 - The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has received test results confirming the presence of the H7 avian influenza virus on a farm in British Columbia.  Further testing will confirm whether the virus is a low or highly pathogenic version of the virus.  Initial test results from a provincial laboratory in B.C. detected the avian influenza virus and the H7 subtype was confirmed at the CFIA’s National Centre for Foreign Animal Diseases in Winnipeg.  This is not the same virus which currently exists in Asia.  Health Canada advises that the risk to human health remains low.   At this stage the issue is focused on animal to animal transmission and the risk that poses to those who come in direct contact with animals who have H7 avian influenza.
(Source:  Canadian Food Inspection Agency website)

CVR established in November 2006:

The CVR was established as a program of the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) in a joint partnership with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).

Canadian veterinarians providing their expertise and services:

The CVR is a central resource where Canadian veterinarians voluntarily provide their expertise and services to assist in animal health and welfare emergencies to benefit society in general and animals in particular.

CVR funding:

The CVR is funded by the Government of Canada, through the CFIA, which is a federal government agency.

The CFIA’s mission:

Is to safeguard food, animals and plants.  In doing so, the health and well-being of Canada's people, environment and economy are enhanced.

Foreign Animal Disease emergency response:

In addition to protecting the health of food animals, the CFIA leads the emergency response if an outbreak of animal disease that is foreign to Canada occurs in food animals.

CVR provides surge capacity:

The CVR was created to provide supplemental veterinary resources (“surge capacity”) to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) in the event of a foreign animal disease outbreak in Canada that exceeds the veterinary response capacity of the CFIA.

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.