Enhancing Emergency Management in Canada’s Livestock & Poultry Industry

The Animal Health Emergency Management (AHEM) project develops industry relevant resources to minimize the impacts of serious livestock diseases now and into the future. Our objective is to enhance the emergency management capabilities of Canada’s livestock industry, for both a continually evolving disease landscape and adverse events, through increased industry awareness, capacity, and confidence.

AHEM is focused on the collaborative development and delivery of practical resources, policies and training that will support producers, industry associations and animal health specialists.

Resources for industry developed by the AHEM project to date include provincial association staff plans and producer handbooks, workshops, webinars, and online training for veterinarians in partnership with international disease recognition organizations. Resources currently under development include protocols to address crucial industry gaps, and national frameworks.

This four-year (2019-2023) Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada AgriAssurance funded project builds on the momentum of AHEM I and is focussed on minimizing serious animal disease impact through enhanced industry awareness, capacity, confidence. The National Farmed Animal Health and Welfare Council is responsible for overseeing AHEM initiatives.

AHEM at a Glance

Partnerships

AHEM is sparking significant collaboration with federal government organizations including Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), provincial government departments of agriculture as well as provincial commodity groups across Canada.

Working with the European Commission for the Control of Foot-and-Mouth Disease (EuFMD), CFIA and the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association, AHEM has provided online Foot-and-Mouth Disease recognition training to Canadian veterinarians and veterinary technicians and technologists in early 2020. We are working to provide the training again in the coming years as well as a similar program for other serious animal diseases such as African Swine Fever. Through this partnership and working collaborating with Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association (SCA), AHEM facilitated real-life training for a beef production specialist to Uganda for an immersive, first-hand experience in the challenges in controlling for FMD. Part of AHEM’s industry champion mentorship program, the experience resulted in many lessons learned for Canada. Watch for updated at upcoming AHEM events and workshops – presentation from the participate, our champion.

Relevance

The AHEM project aligns with several national strategic initiatives, including the Livestock Market Interruption Strategy (LMIS) led by AAFC, and the Plant and Animal Health Strategy (PAHS) facilitated by CFIA.

AHEM is bringing key stakeholders together and strengthening Canada’s livestock industry. By equipping associations and producers with new knowledge, skills and resources, we are creating opportunities for shared experiences and learning.

The AHEM project is currently in the second of four planned phases of resource development and distribution, with a March 2023 end date. 

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