Proposed reporting and compensation regulations under the Animal Health Act, 2009
Regulation - LGIC
Bill or Act:
Animal Health Act
Summary of Decision:
The Minister's mandatory reporting regulation requiring the reporting of designated hazards and veterinary findings would provide an early notification to the Minister about animal diseases and other hazards that are, or may be, present in the province.
With respect to the reporting proposal, OMAFRA will be making the following changes to the reporting proposal:
- Additional diseases will be added to the hazard reporting list as per comments received from stakeholders (e.g., Hantavirus).
- Reptiles will be added to the list of animals to which the proposed reporting regulation would apply.
- Ontario veterinarians that send their samples to laboratories outside of the province will have to report all immediately notifiable hazards to OMAFRA.
The Lieutenant Governor-in-Council compensation regulation would provide additional details should the Minister exercise his or her discretion and provide financial compensation to persons (e.g., animal owners, livestock producers) for losses incurred as a result of government action taken under the AHA.
Comments received during consultation included requests for compensation for orders made by the federal government and to expand the compensation to business losses. No changes were made to this regulation as a result of feedback in the consultation.
The regulations have been approved and will come into force on January 1, 2013.
March 9, 2012
Summary of Proposal:
The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) is asking for feedback on its proposals for a reporting regulation and a compensation regulation to be made under the Animal Health Act, 2009 (the Act).
The proposed reporting regulation would designate a number of hazards, such as animal diseases, as immediately notifiable hazards and periodically notifiable hazards, which laboratories would have to report to OMAFRA. The list of specific diseases appears in detail in a discussion paper posted on the OMAFRA website and referenced below. To promote greater coordination with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), laboratories would have to provide notice to OMAFRA of any animal diseases in terrestrial animals (including amphibians and birds) that are also reportable or immediately notifiable under federal regulations made under the Health of Animals Act (Canada). However, the CFIA would lead in responding to the most significant of these reports, including where foreign animal diseases are indicated. A number of Ontario-specific hazards have also been proposed for reporting to OMAFRA by laboratories that are not normally priorities for the CFIA, but are still of local concern in the province.
At this time, the proposed reporting regulation would not require individual livestock and poultry producers to report any knowledge or suspicion of a hazard, such as an animal disease, to OMAFRA. The proposed regulation would not affect any existing reporting obligations they may have to the CFIA.
In addition to designating hazards under the Act, the proposed regulation would also set out specific findings that veterinarians would be required to report that are encountered while the veterinarian is engaged in the practice of veterinary medicine. Reporting these findings is designed to capture atypical animal health situations, such as high mortality in a herd or flock, which could indicate the presence of a significant hazard (such as a toxic substance in animal feed or an emerging strain of a disease) at the earliest possible opportunity.
The proposed regulation would also set out reporting requirements, including the information that must be provided by operators of laboratories and veterinarians, as well as the time in which such reports must be made.
In some cases, the Chief Veterinarian for Ontario (CVO) may need to order destruction of an animal or animal-related thing, such as feed, in order to reduce the possible spread of a hazard. In these unusual cases, the Act authorizes the Minister to provide financial compensation for certain losses stemming from the order at his discretion. The proposed compensation regulation would provide clarity, transparency and assurance to stakeholders that a legal framework exists to address, at the Minister's discretion some or all the direct losses incurred by persons who have complied with orders issued under the Act.
OMAFRA seeks input on these regulatory proposals. To view a more detailed discussion paper that describes the content of the proposed regulations, please see the link below under "Further Information" entitled "Discussion Paper: Proposed Reporting and Compensation Regulations under the Animal Health Act, 2009".
Senior Policy Advisor (A), Policy Development Unit
Food Safety and Environmental Policy Branch
1 Stone Road West, 2nd Floor, Guelph, Ontario, N1G 4Y2
January 1, 2013