Agricultural Facts

Animals

Animal health products are not just valuable tools for the protection of animal health - they safeguard human health.

West Nile virus can affect both people and horses. Highly effective horse vaccines have been developed which are aiding in the development of a human vaccine.

Of nearly 1,500 diseases we know affect people, two-thirds can pass between animals and humans.

Animal health products undergo years of testing and trials to meet stringent government requirements before being approved for use.

All animal health products sold in Canada have undergone a comprehensive scientific review and risk assessment by Health Canada to identify any potential threats to animal and human health or the environment.

Canadian farmers work diligently to provide farm animals with the resources for optimal health such as proper nutrition, clean water, vaccinations, and biosecurity.

Food Safety

Whether produced organically or conventionally, our food is equally healthy and safe to eat.

Food safety programs, both on the farm and at the food processor, help identify critical control points where food safety could be at risk. Identified risks are managed, documented and validated by independent auditors.

Canadians have access to one of the safest, most abundant food supplies in the world. Healthy animals mean healthy Canadians.

Environment

The health of animals, whether livestock or pets, is inextricably linked to the wellbeing of people and planet, meaning better animal health plays an integral role in sustainability.

Since CAHI first partnered with Cleanfarms in 2009, over 52,000 kg of unwanted livestock and equine health products have been collected for safe disposal.

Canadian beef has one of the lowest GHG footprints per unit of production in the world at 12 kg CO2 equivalent per kilogram of live weight, which is less than half the world average, and only accounts for 3.2% of the country’s total GHG footprint. (credit: Canadian Cattlemen's Association)

Less than eight per cent of Canada’s land is used for agriculture. The rest has been developed as an urban landscape, is forest or shrubland, or is very difficult to impossible to grow crops on (think Arctic regions). But livestock can flourish on terrain that’s too rocky, hilly, wet, or dry. That gives farmers the opportunity to produce food in places where crops can’t grow.

Over the past fifty years, the egg industry has produced 50% more eggs using less land, less energy and less water – in total a 50% drop in its environmental footprint – all while making hens healthier. (credit: Egg Farmers of Canada)

Healthier animals need fewer natural resources, allowing them to provide more food, labour, fertilizer, companionship and assistance for less feed, water and land. Their contribution will be central to efforts towards achieving the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) by 2030.

Urban Connection

Keeping our food safe, and our animals healthy, are reasons why you are asked about contact with farms and farm animals when you come back to Canada from another country.

Fewer than two per cent of Canadians farm, but 97 per cent of Canadian farms are family owned.

One in eight Canadian jobs is directly linked to agriculture, which contributed $142.7 billion to our national economy in 2019, and is a major driver of economic growth.

In Ontario alone, the demand for graduates from the Ontario Agricultural College exceeds supply – there are approximately four jobs available for every OAC graduate entering the agri-food sector. The possibilities are endless - engineering, economics, food and animal sciences, tourism, environment, and more!

More effective vaccines and delivery mechanisms can help protect more animals against diseases, which also means there is less need for antibiotics. This both minimizes the risk of antibiotic resistance and reduces the risk of zoonotic diseases passing to people by preventing them in the first place.

Antibiotics are key for modern medicine and public health to protect against infectious disease. There are no alternatives to effectively treat bacterial infections, and because of this, antimicrobial resistance is a significant global threat both human and animal health. New compounds that offer a novel way to target bacteria without using antibiotics are among the most valuable potential innovations in animal health.

Banner Photo Credit: Farm & Food Care Saskatchewan