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Canada to boost avian flu surveillance

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has plans for a new, enhanced surveillance program for avian flu viruses called the Canadian Notifiable Avian Influenza Surveillance System (CanNAISS).

June 9, 2008  By

June 7, 2008

The federal government is
finalizing details on how it will implement a new, enhanced surveillance
program for avian flu viruses in
Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection
Agency said Friday.

The enhanced Canadian
Notifiable Avian Influenza Surveillance System (CanNAISS) has been designed to
meet current guidelines from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), as
well as new requirements from the European Union that take effect in January
2009, CFIA said.


"The system will
provide information about NAI (notifiable avian influenza) viruses in
Canada's domestic poultry flocks that will
be required for Canadian poultry farmers and processors to continue doing
business internationally," CFIA wrote.

Most avian flu viruses pose
little or no animal health risk, but the H5 and H7 subtypes may lead to serious
illness in birds. CanNAISS testing will identify poultry farms where these
viruses may be present and enable CFIA and farmers to control potential disease
spread, the agency wrote.

Canada currently monitors for NAI through wild bird
surveillance; passive surveillance when clinical signs suggestive of NAI are
reported; and targeted surveillance when NAI is spotted. CanNAISS will enhance
these activities, through components such as on-farm, pre-slaughter
surveillance, CFIA said.

The expanded CanNAISS
program was developed in collaboration with provincial and territorial
governments, poultry farmers and other industry representatives, CFIA wrote.


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