Further to an announcement made in April 2012, effective April 1, 2013, some programs of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s (CFIA) Office of Biohazard Containment and Safety (OBCS) and the Public Health Agency of Canada’s (PHAC) Pathogen Regulation Directorate (PRD) will be merged. Import permits for terrestrial animal and human pathogens, as well as the certification of laboratories handling these types of pathogens will be offered through a single office located within the PRD at PHAC.
The OBCS at the CFIA will continue to issue permits for:
pathogens causing foreign animal and emerging animal diseases (i.e., pathogens that are not established in or indigenous to Canada);
animals, animal products and by-products, tissue, sera and blood that are infected with animal pathogens;
aquatic animal pathogens; and
Additional information on certification and compliance verification for containment facilities, and other information related to the merger, is contained in the attached FAQ.
These changes will also be reflected in the Canadian Biosafety Standards and Guidelines, which will harmonize CFIA and PHAC requirements for biocontainment laboratories handling animal and zoonotic pathogens, as well as pathogens that affect humans only.
The PRD and the OBCS have been working together to achieve program efficiencies for several years. This merger will significantly reduce duplicate regulatory requirements and administrative burden for controlling animal and human pathogens. This change will enhance the Government of Canada’s capacity and capability to oversee pathogen-related work, without increasing public or animal health risks. The containment regulations and measures designed to protect Canadians and animals from these pathogens and the diseases they cause will continue to be enforced.
Should you have any questions, please contact:
William (Bill) Anderson, Ph.D.A/Associate Vice-President
Science Branch, Canadian Food Inspection Agency
1400 Merivale RoadOttawa, Ontario
Telephone: 613 773-5851
Sandra Fry, Director General
Pathogen Regulation Directorate
Emergency Management and Corporate Affairs
Public Health Agency of Canada
100 Colonnade Road Ottawa, Ontario
Telephone 613 960-6637
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