Bluetongue To Be Downgraded To “Notifiable”

Regulations requiring suspected cases of bluetongue in livestock to be reported to federal veterinary inspectors, even though Canada has lifted its bluetongue control measures on U. S. imports, are set to change by as early as next month.

Amendments to the federal Health of Animals Regulations will downgrade the five common U. S. serotypes of bluetongue from a “reportable” disease – which makes it an offence not to report a suspected case – to “immediately notifiable.”

Under bluetongue’s “reportable” designation today, “this level of obligation and sanction is not consistent with the new import policy,” officials said in a regulatory impact analysis statement July 4.

The public has 30 days from July 4 to comment on the proposed amendments.

Generally, “immediately notifiable” diseases are considered to be exotic to Canada and “of less concern” than reportable diseases. Only labs are required to contact the Canadian Food Inspection Agency if they suspect or diagnose an “immediately notifiable” disease.

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