General FVO Approval for Canadian Health Controls

EU & CANADA - Following an audit last year, the EU Food and Veterinary Office (FVO) found most of the measures and control system put in place to fulfil the requirements for live poultry and poultry products for export to the EU to be satisfactory. Just two weaknesses were reported.
calendar icon 9 December 2010
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The report describes the outcome of an audit carried out by the FVO in Canada from 29 September to 8 October 2009.

The objective of the audit was to evaluate the enforcement of the measures and control system put in place to fulfil the requirements for live poultry and poultry products (excluding ratites) for human consumption destined for export to the European Union (EU).

Council Decision 1999/201/EC approved, on behalf of the Community, the Agreement between the European Community and the Government of Canada on sanitary measures to protect public and animal health in respect of trade in live animals and animal products. An amendment to the Annexes to that Agreement was approved on behalf of the Community by Commission Decision 2005/306/EC. This Agreement sets up the list of live animals or animal products for which equivalence of sanitary measures have been recognised for trade purposes.

On the basis of the Agreement, Canadian animal health measures as regards live poultry, poultry meat and poultry meat products are recognised as equivalent in form of compliance with Community requirements and were evaluated against Community legislation.

The mission team assessed the systems in place for the certification of poultry or poultry products exported to the EU, the control of notifiable avian influenza (NAI) and Newcastle disease (ND), the implementation and preliminary results of the approved NAI surveillance and followed up the findings and recommendations of the last FVO mission carried out in 2004, which was in the context of safeguard measures following a significant avian influenza outbreak in British Columbia.

The CFIA issued a number of specific Memorandums of Understanding and instructions to implement the new EU requirements introduced since the Agreement had been signed, but the new requirements are not fully covered by them. Some of the reviewed documents are available only in draft form, others are not updated or authorized by the Competent authority (CA) the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).

The audit has shown that Canada has a comprehensive system which generally allows the authorities to respect the animal health requirements for import of live poultry and poultry products into the European Union.

Some significant weaknesses were found however, in particular the following:

  • the authorised use of a ND vaccine which does not comply with the requirements of Annex VI to Regulation (EC) No 798/2008 without the additional testing of flocks imposed by Annex VII to the same regulation, and
  • the practical procedures for issuing certificates for day-old-chicks and hatching eggs without respecting all relevant provisions of Directive 96/93/EC.

A number of recommendations have been made to the competent authorities (CA) with a view to addressing the deficiencies identified during the audit.

Further Reading

- You can view the full report by clicking here.

Further Reading

- You can view the Canadian response to the FVO audit report by clicking here.
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