Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Concerning Regulations
Under the Animal Health Act, 2009 (Ontario)

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The Ontario Animal Health Act, 2009 (AHA) came into force in January of 2010. It gives the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), important tools to detect and respond to findings of significant animal health hazards or animal related threats to human health in Ontario. This legislation helps keep animals healthy and the agri-food industry strong, which in turn protects Ontario families and strengthens Ontario's economy.

New regulations concerning the reporting of certain hazards and compensation under the Act

On January 1, 2013, two new regulations come into force under the Animal Health Act, 2009. The Reporting of Hazards and Findings Regulation (O. Reg. 277/12), helps OMAFRA to better detect and monitor serious and emerging animal health hazards. Under this regulation, veterinary diagnostic laboratories operating in Ontario must report certain laboratory test results, and veterinarians licensed in Ontario must report certain findings to the Chief Veterinarian for Ontario (OCVO) at OMAFRA. See the formal reporting regulation at:
www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/source/regs/english/2012/elaws_src_regs_r12277_e.htm.
Under the Regulation for Compensation (O. Reg. 278/12), the Minister of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs has discretion to provide compensation to owners who have experienced losses resulting from orders made under the AHA. Among other things, such compensation will encourage owners to participate in the control of diseases in animals. See the compensation regulation at:
www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/source/regs/english/2012/elaws_src_regs_r12278_e.htm.

Index of Questions and Answers

This document includes a series of questions and answers to assist readers in understanding the regulations from various points-of-view.

Questions from the Point of View of a Veterinarian ………………………………………………………. 2
Questions from the Point of View of a Laboratory…………………………………………………..…….. 6
Questions from the Point of View of an Owner of Animals……………….………………….……….. 9
Questions from the Point of View of a More General Audience……….…………….………………11

Veterinarian - Frequently Asked Questions

V1. How much extra time and effort is the reporting of these specific hazards going to involve for a veterinarian? For most veterinarians, this provincial regulation should involve little or no additional time or effort. Ontario laboratories are responsible for reporting positive test results for listed hazards. If a veterinarian submits samples or specimens from animals or things in Ontario to a laboratory in Ontario, that veterinarian has no additional responsibilities to reporting specific test results. However, if a veterinarian submits samples or specimens from an animal or thing located in Ontario to a laboratory outside of Ontario and any of the samples or specimens test positive for a laboratory “Immediately Notifiable Hazard”, then that veterinarian must report those positive test results to OMAFRA. Veterinarians are still responsible for reporting federally reportable diseases to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) as they have been for many years.

V2. This new regulation requires veterinarians to report findings of "serious risk" to OMAFRA. What is the intent of this part of the regulation and what is meant by the term "serious risk"? New hazards or diseases can emerge or unusual situations can occur. Such situations can pose a very serious threat to animal or public health. Veterinarians are often in a position to assess such risks. The intent of this regulation is to make OMAFRA aware of serious risks sooner than we have in the past. The term "serious risk" is used to describe the high threshold of risk to animal health, human health or food safety that is required to trigger such a report. Examples include unusually high mortality and clusters of unusually serious disease on multiple premises that is not easily explained, or an unusual and serious direct threat to food safety or public health from animals (see more specific examples below). Such risks are expected to arise infrequently, such that an individual veterinarian may expect to be required to make such reports only rarely.

V3. Can you give me some examples of situations that OMAFRA does, and does not, consider to be a "serious risk"? Yes. The intent is to make OMAFRA aware of serious risks sooner than we have in the past. This will hopefully help to reduce or mitigate their impact. Some examples include:
Example 1: In the 1990's, collectively industry and government may have been able to dampen the impact that a new strain of Bovine Viral Diarrhea (BVD) virus had on the cattle industry; if the extent of the emerging problem had been understood sooner, through reporting.
Example 2: Similarly, in the early stages of Porcine Respiratory and Reproductive Syndrome (PRRS), the overall response may have been improved, if collectively, we had more fully appreciated the extent of the emerging problem sooner.
Example 3: Early reports of lead poisoning in groups of animals help to ensure that only animals tested for lead and verified safe to eat are allowed to proceed to slaughter.
Example 4: You are working on a case of unusually high morbidity and mortality, but the cause is still not clear even after you conduct a full laboratory work up. Then you see the same serious and unexplained problems in three other herds in your practice. That is one example of the type of finding that should be reported under this regulation.
Example(s) 5: Some examples of events that are serious to the affected animals and respective owners but do not require reporting under this regulation include: death or injury due to failure of a mechanical device (e.g. failed ventilation), a weather or geological event, fire, starvation, hunting or predation. Cases of abuse or neglect that must be reported to the OSPCA under the Ontario Society for the Prevention for Cruelty to Animals Act need not be reported to the OCVO.
Example 6: Once the existence of a new serious hazard has become widely known through notices, industry or academic publications, and/or has been added officially to the list of laboratory Immediately Notifiable Hazards; then, while still serious, it has become well known and no longer needs to be reported as a "serious risk", because it will be captured and monitored by other means and addressed through relatively routine means.

V4. Do situations that I believe my client and I can manage need to be reported?
OMAFRA recognises that veterinarians are highly trained professionals and are in a position to assess a situation and manage that risk with their clients. Nevertheless, the findings that a veterinarian is required to report are those that, in their professional opinion, identify a very serious and unusual risk to animal health, human health or to the safety of food or other products derived from animals that humans may consume or use. Such risks are expected to arise infrequently, such that an individual veterinarian may expect to be required to make such reports only rarely.

V5. Does a request for veterinary extension assistance constitute an official report of a "serious risk" to OMAFRA?
No. OMAFRA extension veterinary services are still available through your normal OMAFRA contacts.

V6. My veterinary practice serves pet animals only. I have no livestock or poultry clients. Do these regulations apply to my type of veterinary practice?

Yes. While it is true that OMAFRA's emphasis is on farmed animals, food production and agricultural trade, these regulations apply to all animals, veterinarians and laboratories in Ontario. For example, the Government of Ontario would be concerned if a new zoonotic disease emerged in pet animals and spread from pets to people, making several people seriously ill. In such situations, OMAFRA would coordinate with Public Health Officials who would lead the public health response. OMAFRA would continue to lead the animal health response, ensuring that veterinarians are made aware of the emerging zoonotic hazard.

V7. Should I report anything and everything that is in any way unusual, even when I'm sure I can manage the situation with my client?

No. OMAFRA is confident that veterinarians and their clients will be able to manage the vast majority of situations without government involvement. Under this regulation, a veterinarian is only required to report findings in respect of an animal, animal product, animal by-product, input, fomite, vector, waste material or any other thing related to an animal that, in the veterinarian's professional opinion, identify a very serious risk to animal health, human health or to the safety of food or other products derived from animals that humans may consume or use. Examples include unusually high mortality and clusters of unusually serious disease on multiple premises that is not easily explained, or an unusual and serious direct threat to food safety or public health from animals. Such risks are expected to arise infrequently, such that an individual veterinarian may expect to be required to make such reports only rarely.

V8. What happens after reports are made?

When you make a report, an OMAFRA veterinarian will contact you to discuss the situation and obtain more information from you. OMAFRA will assess the risk and decide on the appropriate response. This may include any one or a combination of the following:

  • simply recording the event and waiting to see if other veterinarians make similar reports,
  • working with you and your client to conduct more tests,
  • working with you to manage the situation, similar to extension services,
  • publishing notices (without specific names or addresses) advising other veterinarians and owners how to manage similar situations,
  • working with industry to manage the situation,
  • encouraging specific research,
  • working with animal health partners provincially and federally
  • using disease control tools of the Animal Health Act.

V9. How do I make a report of a "serious risk"?
Phone the OMAFRA Agricultural Information Contact Centre (AICC) at 1-877-424-1300 immediately. As a guideline, immediate reporting means as soon as is reasonably possible and within 18 hours of becoming aware of the serious risk. You can reach an operator 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days of the year at that number. Amongst other things, you must tell the operator that you are a veterinarian who is reporting a finding to the Chief Veterinarian for Ontario at OMAFRA. The operator will take down basic information. Then an OMAFRA veterinarian-on-call will call you back to discuss the situation and get more detailed information from you. There is an OMAFRA veterinarian on call, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, from 7AM to 10 PM.

V10. Do I still need to report a federally reportable disease to the CFIA?
Yes. If you think you are dealing with a federally reportable disease, you are obligated to report those concerns directly to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency as soon as possible through your local CFIA District Veterinarian or CFIA's emergency phone number at 1-877-814-2342. The CFIA will follow-up on that report. The CFIA will notify OMAFRA of the situation once they have done a preliminary work-up. OMAFRA will work with the CFIA to support CFIA's lead in managing the situation.

V11. Sometimes I send samples to a laboratory outside Ontario. If such samples test positive for an Immediately Notifiable Hazard, how do those results get reported to OMAFRA?
As the submitting veterinarian, you are responsible for immediately notifying the Office of the Chief Veterinarian for Ontario (OCVO) of any such positive test results that you receive back from a laboratory outside Ontario. Email the report to OCVO-Reportable-Notifiable@Ontario.ca.
See the Guidelines document at www.Ontario.ca/animalhealth and the regulation (O.Reg.277/12) at www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/source/regs/english/2012/elaws_src_regs_r12277_e.htm for a list of information that is to be included in a report. In practical terms, the simplest way for you to submit a report may be to email the report you received from the non-Ontario laboratory to the OCVO, with additional information as needed. After receiving your email report, an OMAFRA veterinarian may contact you to obtain more detailed information if necessary.

V12. I see that once a year, laboratories operating in Ontario must submit an annul report for "Periodically Notifiable Hazards". Are veterinarians who use laboratories outside Ontario also required to submit an annual report for such testing done at non-Ontario laboratories ?
No. Veterinarians who use laboratories outside Ontario to test for "Immediately Notifiable Hazards" are not required to submit an annual report of "Periodically Notifiable Hazards".

V13. We conduct some in-house diagnostic tests at our veterinary clinic for some of the "Immediately Notifiable Hazards". Are we required to report in-house test positives to OMAFRA like laboratories?
No. Under the AHA, laboratories are defined as facilities carrying out operations and procedures for the examination of samples and specimens submitted by a third party from living or dead animals, animal products, animal by-products, inputs, fomites, vectors, waste material and other things related to animals to which this Act or the regulations apply in order to inform a diagnosis, prophylaxis, treatment or other veterinary analysis in respect of a hazard. Therefore, tests done at second-party in-house laboratories such as within veterinary clinics or second-party quality control laboratories in large production companies are not required to be reported.

V14. Why are veterinarians not required to report positive in-house test results or clinical cases of "Immediately Notifiable Hazards"?
The Government of Ontario is aware of the need to limit regulatory burdens on business, such as the burden associated with making reports. To balance regulatory burden with the need to conduct effective animal health surveillance, the responsibility for reporting has been placed primarily on animal health laboratories (with the exception of out-of-province laboratory testing and situations of serious risk, which are reported by veterinarians). It is believed that by monitoring reports from third-party commercial laboratories, and reports of serious risk and out-of-province laboratory testing from veterinarians, OMAFRA can effectively and efficiently obtain sufficient disease surveillance information.

V15. How did OMAFRA decide which hazards to include in the new provincial regulation listing laboratory Immediately Notifiable and Periodically Notifiable Hazards?
In 2011, OMAFRA consulted with stakeholders through a working group consisting of producers, veterinarians, pathologists, and government animal health, public health and wildlife officials. The intent was to establish lists of hazards that integrated well with existing lists and stakeholder reporting responsibilities for lists of federally reportable and notifiable diseases, and meet emerging needs.

V16. Is it possible for OMAFRA to add hazards, delete hazards, or change the status of specific hazards on the official lists of notifiable hazards?
Yes. It is recognized that hazards may emerge or decline in their importance over time that warrant changes to the lists. The provincial Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs can authorize changes to the lists.

Laboratory - Frequently Asked Questions

L1. I am the director of a commercial veterinary laboratory in Ontario. This regulation requires our laboratory to immediately report specific information for test positives for a list of hazards and diseases. Our laboratory does not conduct specific tests for many of those diseases. How are we supposed to comply with this reporting regulation?
OMAFRA will work with you to establish a method of reporting that works for both your laboratory and OMAFRA. If your laboratory does not conduct specific tests for the specific hazards listed, then your laboratory has no reporting responsibilities under this reporting regulation for those hazards. However, for those listed hazards for which your laboratory does conduct specific tests, effective January 1, 2013, you are required to immediately report positive test results for "Immediately Notifiable Hazards", and to annually report the results of all tests conducted specifically for "Periodically Notifiable Hazards", including negative, suspicious and positive results.

L2. How does OMAFRA define a "positive" test for a notifiable hazard?
OMAFRA recognises that many different laboratory tests exist and continue to evolve for various hazards. Therefore, a "positive" laboratory test result includes:

  • the isolation or chemical identification of the hazard OR
  • a positive nucleic acid-based test OR
  • a positive antigen-based test OR
  • a positive immunological response-based test (indicative of disease and not including immune response to vaccination) OR
  • the presence of a pathognomonic lesion...

specific to any of the hazards listed in the regulation for which the laboratory has declared the sample test positive for a notifiable hazard, according to that laboratory's testing protocols in place at the time.

L3. I am responsible for a commercial veterinary laboratory in Ontario. If I am already reporting positive test results for the listed hazards, why do I also have to report negative, suspicious and positive test results annually for "Periodically Notifiable Hazards"?
It is important for OMAFRA to demonstrate to our export trade customers that Ontario laboratories are conducting tests for serious hazards, and that most or all of these tests are negative. Providing annual reports of testing for "Periodically Notifiable Hazards" helps OMAFRA to demonstrate both surveillance coverage and awareness of trends in disease that may affect trade.

L4. This reporting regulation requires annual reporting of laboratory data by the end of January on tests conducted for listed hazards during the previous calendar year. When this regulation comes into force on January 1, 2013, are laboratories responsible for sending OMAFRA the data for calendar year 2012 before the end of January 2013?
No. By coming into effect on January 1, 2013, this regulation applies to data starting on that date. The first annual report is not due until January 2014 and will apply to appropriate data collected at your laboratory during the calendar year of 2013. OMAFRA staff will work with you during 2013 to establish the specific file format and mechanics for submitting your annual reports in a manner that works for both your laboratory and OMAFRA.

L5. Suppose our laboratory does get a positive test for one of the laboratory Immediately Notifiable Hazards. How do we report that to OMAFRA? What do you mean by "immediately" report?
You must email your report to the Office of the Chief Veterinarian for Ontario at OMAFRA, using the email address set up specifically for this purpose: <OCVO-Reportable-Notifiable@Ontario.ca.
See the guidelines document and actual regulation for a list of information that is to be included in a report www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/source/regs/english/2012/elaws_src_regs_r12277_e.htm.
In practical terms, the simplest way for you to submit a report may be to e-mail OMAFRA a copy of the test positive results report you send to your client, with additional information as needed.
As a guideline, immediate reporting means as soon as is reasonably possible and within 18 hours of becoming aware of the specific positive laboratory test result. Upon receiving your e-mail report, an OMAFRA veterinarian may contact you to obtain more detailed information if necessary.

L6. Is our laboratory responsible for reporting positive results for Immediately Notifiable Hazards for tests conducted on our behalf, on Ontario samples, at laboratories outside Ontario?
Yes. As the Ontario laboratory coordinating the testing and reporting the results back to the original submitter in Ontario, your laboratory is responsible for reporting positive laboratory tests for Immediately Notifiable Hazards to OMAFRA. You must make the report immediately upon your laboratory becoming aware of the positive test result, even if the actual laboratory test was conducted at another laboratory.

L7. What happens when a laboratory reports a positive test result to the Chief Veterinarian for Ontario at OMAFRA?
All emails sent to OCVO-Reportable-Notifiable@Ontario.ca are automatically forwarded to the OMAFRA veterinarian-on-call for their review and preliminary assessment. Depending on the hazard and tests involved, the OMAFRA veterinarian-on-call may contact the laboratory to obtain more information concerning the case. There is an OMAFRA veterinarian on call, 7 days a week, 365 days a year from 7 AM to 10 PM. OMAFRA may ask that additional testing (e.g. typing) be done on the samples at your laboratory or instruct you to send the remaining sample material or isolates to another laboratory for further testing or typing. OMAFRA will pay for that additional requested testing. When you submit a report, amongst other things you are required to provide the name and contact information of the veterinarian or person who submitted the sample to your laboratory. After obtaining the report from your laboratory, an OMAFRA veterinarian may contact the submitting veterinarian (or person) directly to obtain more information about the history, clinical picture and context of the test positive case(s). Based on all the information collected, OMAFRA will assess the risk and decide on response actions appropriate to the risk.

L8. I am a veterinarian who is an employee of a large animal production company. We run our own in-house laboratory for quality control. We do not test for the vast majority of the hazards listed in the regulation, but we do test for at least one of the listed hazards as part of our quality control. Are we required to report our company's own laboratory reports to OMAFRA?
No. Under the AHA, laboratories are defined as facilities carrying out operations and procedures for the examination of samples and specimens submitted by a third party in order to inform a diagnosis, prophylaxis, treatment or other veterinary analysis in respect of a hazard. Therefore, tests done at second-party in-house laboratories such as within veterinary clinics or second-party quality control laboratories in large production companies are not required to be reported.

L9. Our laboratory in Ontario sometimes tests samples that were collected from animals or premises outside Ontario. Are we required to report test results for those samples?
No. The reporting regulation applies only to samples submitted from animals or related materials located in Ontario at the time the sample was collected.

L10. I see that Influenza A and Salmonellosis (Salmonella sub-typed) are included in the list of laboratory "Immediately Notifable Hazards". Why are they included on the list?
Organisms such as Influenza and Salmonella, which have many sub-types and serovars, expressing a wide range of pathogenisity across different host species, are particularly challenging to manage. Also, many of them are endemic and change over time. That is why it is important to collect laboratory data on the frequency, distribution and changes in various sub-types and serovars. These data help industry and government to collectively make better management decisions.

Animal Owner - Frequently Asked Questions

AO1. I own some animals. What are my responsibilities for reporting animal diseases to government authorities?
Animal owners are responsible for the care and health of their animals. In general, you should call your local private veterinarian for assistance when your animals are sick. Your veterinarian will assess the situation and help you to ensure that appropriate authorities are notified if and when required. There are no new or additional responsibilities for owners to report animal disease under this provincial regulation. However, animal owners are still responsible for meeting the reporting requirements of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) under federal regulations, as they have been for many years. See the CFIA website at: www.inspection.gc.ca/animals/terrestrialanimals/diseases/eng/1300388388234/1300388449143

AO2. If I think my animal(s) may be sick with one of the hazards listed in this provincial regulation, what should I do?
Any time you think your animals are sick, you should call a veterinarian. Your veterinarian is in the best position to assess the situation. If laboratory tests indicate the presence of any of the listed "notifiable" hazards, the laboratory or veterinarian will report that information to OMAFRA as appropriate. As the animal owner, you are not required to report animal diseases to OMAFRA (but you are still responsible for reporting federally reportable disease to the CFIA as you have been for many years).

AO3. If my animal tests positive to any of the hazards listed in the regulation and a laboratory reports the results to OMAFRA, what happens to my animal and to me as the owner?
OMAFRA veterinarians will assess the report from the laboratory and may contact your veterinarian to discuss the case in confidence. Ministry veterinarians may be able to provide advice on how to prevent further spread of the hazard among your animals and between premises and work with your veterinarian on next steps if needed. OMAFRA's response may include any one or a combination of the following:

  • simply recording the event and waiting to see if other test positives are reported
  • working with laboratories , veterinarians or owners to conduct more tests,
  • working with affected veterinarians and owners to manage the situation, similar to extension services,
  • publishing notices (without specific names or addresses) advising veterinarians and owners on how to manage similar situations,
  • working with industry to manage the situation,
  • encouraging specific research or surveys,
  • working with animal health partners provincially and federally
  • using disease control tools of the Animal Health Act, 2009.

AO4. Will I be compensated for losses I experience as a result of animal health actions or orders issued by OMAFRA under the authority of the Animal Health Act (AHA)?
The Compensation Regulation (O. Reg. 278/12) under the AHA, provides the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs with a framework to authorize payment of compensation for orders issued under the Act. See the Compensation Regulation for more details, at:
www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/source/regs/english/2012/elaws_src_regs_r12278_e.htm

AO5. How will compensation be calculated for animals ordered destroyed?
Evaluations may be performed by experienced third party evaluators to establish the market value of the animal(s). Subject to the provisions of the Compensation Regulation where compensation may be reduced or refused, payments will be calculated at 100 per cent of market value, less any value received for the carcass(es), up to a maximum amount for destroyed animals. The maximum amounts are the same as those in the Compensation for Destroyed Animals Regulation under the federal Health of Animals Act. See a list of maximum compensation values used by OMAFRA (based on CFIA maximum values) at:
http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/SOR-2000-233/page-3.html#h-6.

AO6. How will compensation be calculated for cleaning and disinfection ordered under the Animal Health Act (AHA)?
Under the AHA, the Minister has discretion to pay compensation for cleaning and disinfection costs based on a written order under the AHA. The cleaning and disinfection costs must be reasonably incurred by the person. If the Minister decides to pay for cleaning and disinfection, it will be awarded at 100 per cent of the reasonable cleaning and disinfection costs, based on the amount a commercial service provider would charge, and subject to the provisions of the Compensation Regulation where compensation may be reduced or refused.

AO7. How will compensation be calculated for destruction and disposal costs?
Under the AHA, the Minister may pay compensation to persons for costs associated with destruction and disposal of an animal or animal-related thing under certain circumstances. The Chief Veterinarian for Ontario will direct the producer through a written order, specifying the requirements for destruction and disposal (e.g., the disposal method). If the Minister decides to pay for destruction and disposal, it will be awarded at 100 per cent of the reasonable destruction and disposal costs, based on the amount a commercial service provider charges. Any residual value (e.g. for animal products that can be sold or used, if any) will be subtracted from any compensation received. The provisions of the Compensation Regulation where compensation may be reduced or refused may also apply.

AO8. How do I apply for compensation?
Application forms and instructions for application for compensation will be provided by OMAFRA at the time specific written orders are issued to owners by OMAFRA.

AO9. If the CFIA orders my animals or things destroyed, am I eligible for compensation from OMAFRA under the AHA?
No. Compensation is only paid out by OMAFRA for orders issued by under the provincial Animal Health Act (AHA). If the CFIA issues you an order, you may be eligible for compensation from the CFIA under the federal Health of Animals Act.

AO10. If the CFIA orders me to conduct cleaning and disinfection under federal authority, can I submit a claim for the cost of that cleaning and disinfection to OMAFRA?
No. Compensation is paid out by OMAFRA only for specific official orders issued by OMAFRA under the authority of the provincial AHA.

General - Frequently Asked Questions

G1. Why is OMAFRA adding new regulations to the Animal Health Act?
The AHA was created to keep our animals safe and protect human health and to keep our agri-food industry strong, which in turn protects Ontario families and strengthens our economy. OMAFRA needs to be able to respond to animal health events in a timely manner to control disease and other hazards. The reporting regulation enables us to get information quickly, monitor new and emerging animal health hazards and respond accordingly. When the AHA was enacted in 2009, stakeholders expected that new regulations would be added to make it more functional. Stakeholders, like livestock and poultry organizations, support these new regulations.

G2. What are the new regulations?
We are introducing a list of diseases that have to be reported by animal health laboratories and describing findings that veterinarians must report. And, to encourage animal owners to participate in disease control efforts, we are implementing a compensation regulation that provides the minister with a framework to provide compensation to farmers whose animals have been destroyed by certain orders made under the AHA, or die or are required to be destroyed as a result of being injured in the course of being tested, treated or identified under the AHA by an inspector or by a person assisting the inspector.

G3. Will this mean more paperwork for farmers concerning disease reporting?
No. These regulations do not require livestock and poultry producers to report possible animal health hazards that occur on their farms. There is a reporting obligation for laboratories and veterinarians. We know that laboratories and vets appreciate that they have a role in the protection of public and animal health. That's why we've been working with them to balance that role with minimizing their overall regulatory burden. The new requirements complement the existing animal health framework and help OMAFRA to better monitor new and emerging animal health hazards without causing undue burden to Ontario's livestock producers or veterinarians. Some paper work will however be required when an owner fills out a claim for compensation.

G4. Why is the government not requiring more reporting? Does this go far enough to protect animal and public health in Ontario?
Ontario has a strong system to protect animal health and human health. The new requirements under the AHA help OMAFRA to better monitor new and emerging animal health hazards, without placing an undue burden on livestock producers. We will be able to better protect the health of Ontarians by requiring notification of laboratory test results where specific hazards that can affect people as well as animals are indicated. We continue to work with our animal and public health partners to protect animal and public health in Ontario. The AHA provides the authority for OMAFRA to respond in a broad range of circumstances, not just for the hazards that are named specifically in a regulation. Anyone can voluntarily contact the Chief Veterinarian for Ontario about an animal health situation that is a source of concern.

G5. Why aren't animal welfare issues listed as reportable?
Animal welfare is already provided for under various provincial and federal statutes. The AHA and its regulations are intended to complement existing legislation.

G6. What is covered under the compensation regulation?
There may be some instances or circumstances where a report to the Chief Veterinarian for Ontario leads to actions by OMAFRA to minimize risks to human health or animal health (or to both). In some cases, to control spread, the ministry may order animals or other things to be destroyed or a barn or other facility to be cleaned and disinfected. In appropriate circumstances, financial compensation may be provided at the Minister's discretion and as authorized by the legislation. Compensation can be paid to owners for animals that are destroyed or injured as a result of actions taken under the AHA, and to persons for cleaning and disinfection costs and costs associated with destruction and disposal of an animal or animal-related thing.

G7. What about those who do not act in the best interests of animal health? Will they be able to receive compensation too?
The Minister may refuse or reduce the amount of compensation where:

  • The person claiming compensation fails to provide the Minister with the information required to substantiate the claim.
  • The person claiming compensation provides false, misleading or deceptive information in respect of the claim or withholds statements or information.
  • The person is eligible to receive, compensation, reimbursement or damages for the same loss or costs from any other source.
  • The person failed to implement or adhere to commonly accepted biosecurity measures and the failure caused or contributed to the loss being claimed.
  • Wilful or negligent conduct of the person contributed to the loss.
  • In the case of claims for compensation for cleaning and disinfection costs, the person failed to obtain estimates from multiple service providers and the service could have been provided at a lower cost.
  • In the case of claims for compensation for destruction and disposal costs the service could have been provided at a lower cost.
  • The person claiming compensation makes the claim more than 12 months after the day the order was made.

G8. Is compensation available under the AHA for orders made by other government officials?
No. Compensation is authorized for orders made under the AHA only. Orders made by other levels of government, or by the provincial government under other legislation, will not qualify for compensation under the AHA. Compensation cannot be paid under the AHA for losses that result from orders made by another level of government.

G9. Will OMAFRA be creating a permanent Animal Health Advisory Committee?
The AHA allows the Minister to establish such committees to provide advice on matters related to the protection of animal health and other matters regulated by the AHA as the Minister considers appropriate.

G10. Do you plan to add to the reporting requirements in the future?
The reporting requirements, in force January 1, 2013, represent a significant milestone as our animal health protection system evolves. The requirements may be updated and amended when conditions change.

G11. What other regulations will be developed next under the Animal Health Act?
The government has not made a decision to proceed with developing any other regulations under the AHA at this time (2012). We are committed to working with our stakeholders should any other regulations be developed under the AHA.


For more information:
Toll Free: 1-877-424-1300
E-mail: ag.info.omafra@ontario.ca


Author: Animal Health and Welfare Branch/OMAFRA
Creation Date: 14 November 2012
Last Reviewed: 14 November 2012