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Idea: International Reward for Biosecurity

20 July 2009

CANADA - A Canadian agri-food consultant is calling for international rules that reward nations that exercise superior biosecurity and maintain transparency in the monitoring and reporting of animal disease, writes Bruce Cochrane.

Intensified livestock production to feed a growing population has resulted in the emergence of new and the re-emergence of old animal diseases resulting in increased transmission and mortalities.

Ted Bilyea is an agri-food consultant specializing in innovation in the private and public sectors.

He told those on hand last week for Canadian Swine Health Forum 2009 in Saskatoon we've seen an explosion of animal numbers in regions that have little biosecurity and limited surveillance and, in some cases, questions have been raised as to whether information is being suppressed which is in profound contrast to Canada which has some of the best surveillance in the world and puts a high value on transparency.

Clip-Ted Bilyea-Independent Agri-Food Consultant

The unfortunate down-side of this is we live in a world where people take advantage of the very thing that they should be doing.

So what I was pushing for is really for us to re-write these basic rules of trade which simply say that we need to use Canada as an example.

We need an open trading system that is highly transparent, that if you want to trade and want to export that you have to engage in the type of disease surveillance and reporting that we do here.

If you don't choose to do that then number one you will not be an acceptable exporter and number two if you are going to ban Canadian products from a system that's as tight as ours and has this ability to report then that essentially is not acceptable to the international community and that would become an issue at the WTO.


Bilyea says even though it's a health of animal issue, once the rules are set up properly at the OIE, we would see it for what it is which is an impediment to trade and we would take action at the World Trade Organization.

TheCattleSite News Desk



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