News

CAHI Statement on Implementation of Additional Government Measures in Response to COVID-19

April 6, 2020

The Canadian Animal Health Institute (CAHI) and its members applaud the federal and provincial governments for their ongoing recognition of the essential role that veterinary medicines and veterinary care play in safeguarding a safe and secure food supply, as well as the health of communities in Canada.

On April 2, 2020, Public Safety Canada released its Guidance on Essential Services and Functions in Canada during the COVID-19 Pandemic, which was developed in consultation with provinces, territories and national unions. This list recognizes services required to ensure the health and welfare of animals as essential to preserving life, health and basic societal functioning.  Specific animal health services and functions on this list include:

  • Workers including those employed in animal food (pet and animal feed processing facilities), feed, by-product and ingredient production, processing, packaging, and distribution; manufacturing, packaging, and distribution of veterinary drugs; truck delivery and transport; farm and fishery labor needed to harvest and produce our food supply domestically;
  • Animal agriculture workers to include those employed in veterinary health; manufacturing and distribution of animal medical materials, animal vaccines, animal drugs, feed ingredients, feed, and bedding, etc.; and
  • Veterinarians, veterinary technicians and necessary support staff.

The federal guidance on the importance of the support of animal health and welfare essential services is consistent with provincial lists of essential workplaces already issued to date by the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, and Prince Edward Island, as well as the Yukon territory.   

On April 3, 2020, the Ontario government released its epidemiological modelling projections for the pandemic and revised its original list of essential workplaces by narrowing the scope of services to remain exempt from the provincial order for closure of all non-essential businesses.  “Urgent veterinary care and other businesses that provide for the health and welfare of animals, as well as the businesses that supply them, remain essential workplaces under the revised Ontario list,” said Dr. Catherine Filejski, President & CEO of the CAHI. “Many in the veterinary profession are already operating on an urgent care only model of practice in order to align with social distancing requirements and CAHI’s members are committed to ensuring that they continue to have the tools they need to practice effectively.”   

CAHI 2020 Annual Convention Update
“The health and safety of CAHI members, their staff, association staff and all industry stakeholders are of primary importance to us, and we support social distancing measures that have been put in place by Canadian governments to limit the spread of COVID-19.” said Dr. Jair Garcia, Chair of the CAHI Board of Directors, and Senior Vice President Canada & Latin America at Zoetis Inc. “With this in mind, the Board has made the decision to begin contingency planning for CAHI’s 2020 Annual Convention, as hosting an in-person event may not be possible this year.  In that case, alternative delivery of Convention content through a web-based seminar series in June would preserve broader industry access to the valuable continuing education content offered by CAHI, while still following public health recommendations around social distancing.”  Elections for CAHI’s 2020-2021 Board of Directors and approval of the 2020 budget would also be held in a separate virtual Annual General Meeting format.  Further details on both the Convention and the Annual General Meeting will be provided in coming weeks.

To ensure continued service delivery to our membership, CAHI staff remain fully accessible by telephone and email. CAHI members are encouraged to check its website regularly and to continually monitor email for important messages from the regulatory authorities. CAHI is working with its members and global affiliates to monitor any shortages, disruptions or delays in production for animal health products in relation to COVID-19 and reminds all members to notify the office as soon as possible should a disruption be identified and/or anticipated. The Government of Canada continues to limit international travel into Canada; however, these restrictions do not apply to cross-border trade or commerce.

About CAHI
As the not-for-profit trade association representing the developers, manufacturers and distributors of animal pharmaceuticals, biologics, feed additives, veterinary health products and animal pesticides in Canada, CAHI is the unified voice and information source for the animal health industry in Canada. CAHI is a national association, whose members are responsible for the sales of approximately 95% of the animal health product market in Canada. Sales by CAHI member companies in 2018 were approximately $860 million.

Contact: Colleen McElwain, Programs Director
Canadian Animal Health Institute
(519) 763-7777

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