Letter on Foreign Animal Disease Zoning to USDA APHIS and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency


Date Sent
October 8, 2014
U.S.-Canada Bi-Lateral Working Group
Dr. Harpreet Kochhar and Dr. John Clifford
Zoning for Foreign Animal Disease (FAD)
114.33 KB, PDF

Dear Dr. Kochhar and Dr. Clifford:

The Canada-United States (U.S.) Working Group under the Tri-National Agricultural Accord, which also acts as the Provinces-States Advisory Group (PSAG) to the Canada-U.S. Consultative Committee on Agriculture, met on October 8, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois at the 2014 Accord. During the meeting, provincial and state delegates discussed Regionalization and Zoning for Foreign Animal Disease (FAD) that is being addressed through the Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC).

The Canada-U.S. Working Group supports the concept that the framework sets out to accomplish. Canada and the U.S. have an amicable working relationship and have recognized zoning efforts from each other in previous incidents. The initiative under the RCC is an effort to formalize the process and be more transparent. We believe that engagement of stakeholders in the process will be key to avoiding conflict with various industry interest groups if or when the time comes to recognize a zone and try to open up trade with a country that has an FAD.

We believe this process will also establish some additional tools such as pre-negotiated export certificates that will reflect the zoning. Having these created ahead of time is critical and will be one less thing to work on in the midst of an incident.

Provinces and States recognize that although the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) are the primary agencies in this process, it is important to recognize the differences in approach to disease control in the two countries. There are many diseases that would be federally reportable on both sides of the border, and it would be accurate to suggest many of them might be controlled by the state compared with control by CFIA, if it were in Canada.

The Canada-U.S. Working Group recognizes that the CFIA and USDA will be the lead agencies in the case of a FAD; however, it is important to recognize the provincial, state, and other stakeholder involvement should a disease outbreak occur. A lot of time and effort have been put into creating, maintaining and exercising FAD plans in the various provinces and states, and it is important that this be reflected in the FAD initiative. We feel that although it does recognize stakeholder involvement, if this were strengthened, it would help garner stakeholder buy-in to the process.

States and provinces are here to work with both of your organizations as you undertake your food safety modernization efforts. We encourage you to continue to engage with officials in our jurisdictions and work with us to engage with our industry stakeholders.




Minister Ron Kostyshyn, Manitoba
U.S.-Canada Bi-Lateral Working Group

Director Jamie Clover Adams, Michigan
U.S.-Canada Bi-Lateral Working Group