Prescribing a market disruption within the definition of “hazard” and updating appendices listing notifiable hazards in O. Reg. 277/12 (Reporting of Hazards and Findings) under the Animal Health Act, 2009.

ERO number
019-4499
Notice type
Regulation
Posted by
Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
Notice stage
Decision
Decision posted
Comment period
October 19, 2021 - December 3, 2021 (45 days) Closed
Last updated

There is no requirement to post this notice on the Environmental Registry of Ontario, but we wanted to hear your thoughts. Thank you for your feedback.

This consultation was open from:
October 19, 2021
to December 3, 2021

Decision summary

Ontario has expanded the definition of “hazard” in the Animal Health Act, 2009 (AHA) through a regulation.

Decision details

Ontario has made regulatory changes under the Animal Health Act, 2009 to enhance preparedness for an animal health related event.

New Regulation – Prescribed Hazards

The regulation prescribes that, for the purposes of clause (c) of the definition of “hazard” in section 2 of the Animal Health Act, 2009 (AHA), any surplus of livestock or poultry in the Province is prescribed as a hazard if the surplus is caused by restrictions on the movement of the livestock, poultry or related animal products within Ontario or across interprovincial or international borders; and the restrictions were imposed due to concerns about a disease or a biological, chemical, physical or radiological agent or factor.

As per the existing definition in the AHA, the definition needs to be read so that the surplus is considered a “hazard” if, in the absence of control of the surplus, it must adversely affect or be likely to adversely affect the health of any animal or likely to cause, directly or indirectly, significant harm to human health.

This regulation permits the authorities in the AHA that allow for the prevention, detection and response to a “hazard” to be used, in appropriate circumstances and in accordance with the relevant sections in the AHA, to address a provincial surplus of livestock or poultry (due, for example, to a significant disruption that has occurred within a supply chain because of border-related measures adopted in response to a serious animal disease).

The potential application of the AHA in these circumstances would help position Ontario to be better prepared to respond to animal health related emergencies if they arise.

This notice will be updated again once a decision has been made regarding the proposed changes to O. Reg. 277/12.

Comments received

Through the registry

2

By email

7

By mail

0
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Effects of consultation

During the 45-day consultation period, a total of 9 comments were received. Most of the feedback from the consultation was supportive of the prescribed hazard proposal.

Supporting materials

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Get in touch with the office listed below to find out if materials are available.

Food Safety and Environmental Policy
Address

1 Stone Road West
2nd Floor
Guelph, ON
N1G 4Y2
Canada

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Original proposal

ERO number
019-4499
Notice type
Regulation
Posted by
Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
Proposal posted

Comment period

October 19, 2021 - December 3, 2021 (45 days)

Why consultation isn't required

The Animal Health Act, 2009 (AHA) is not prescribed in O. Reg. 73/94. The regulatory proposals are unlikely to have a significant impact on the environment if made and filed as proposed. However, the ministry is posting a notice on the ERO because previous regulatory proposals under the AHA have also been posted on the ERO for consultation. Ontario’s policy approach to animal health recognizes the inherent link between the health of farmed animals, the health of animals that are part of the natural environment in Ontario, and the health of people.

Proposal details

Ontario recognizes the important relationship among animal health, human health, food safety and the economic well-being of the livestock and poultry sector. The Animal Health Act, 2009 (AHA) provides OMAFRAwith important tools to detect and respond to findings of significant animal health hazards or animal-related threats to human health in Ontario. 

  1.  Prescribe that a provincial surplus of livestock or poultry due to a border-related disruption to the market would be a “hazard”.

    OMAFRA is proposing a new regulation. If approved, the regulation would prescribe that, in addition to what is set out in the definition of “hazard” in section 2 of the AHA,  a “hazard” would also mean a surplus of livestock or poultry in the province that results from restrictions associated with the movement of livestock or poultry across interprovincial or international borders. As per section 2 of the AHA, the definition would also provide that, in the absence of management of the surplus, it must adversely affect or be likely to adversely affect the health of any animal or be likely to cause, directly or indirectly, significant harm to human health.

    This regulation, if approved, would permit the authorities in the AHA that allow for the prevention, detection and response to a “hazard” to be used, in appropriate circumstances and in accordance with the relevant sections in the AHA, to address a provincial surplus of livestock or poultry (due, for example, to a significant disruption that has occurred within a supply chain because of border-related measures).

    The potential application of the AHA in these circumstances would help position Ontario to be better prepared to respond to animal health related emergencies if they arise.
     
  2. Updating the appendices listing notifiable hazards in O. Reg. 277/12

    Mandatory reporting requirements allow the Chief Veterinarian for Ontario (CVO) to gather information about emerging animal and public health hazards to assess their risks and to determine whether further technical guidance or regulatory action is needed. Updating the Appendices would reflect the current status of significant hazards and would provide government and industry with information in a timely manner, placing the province in a better position to safeguard animal health, human health and the food supply.

    All Immediately Notifiable Hazards are reported to the CVO by laboratories as soon as the operator of the laboratory has reason to believe that there is a reasonable probability that the hazard is present in any sample or specimen. In some cases, these hazards are reported by veterinarians. Periodically Notifiable Hazards are reported by laboratories to the CVO on an annual basis.

    Since O. Reg 277/12 came into force on January 1, 2013, animal health risks in Ontario have evolved significantly. New hazards have emerged, including diseases such as porcine epidemic diarrhea virus, the prevalence of hazards has changed, industry awareness and interest has increased in certain hazards and other industries have expanded in Ontario (e.g., aquaculture).

    To allow the province to respond more quickly and effectively and to reduce the impact on animal and/or human health, OMAFRA is proposing to:
  • Update the current Appendices by adding new hazards to the Appendices
  • Move some hazards that are emerging as concerns from Appendix B (Periodically Notifiable) to Appendix A (Immediately Notifiable) and vice versa where the risk has lessened.

Analysis of Regulatory Impact

It is not expected that the proposed regulation with respect to the definition of “hazard” would result in any administrative costs for business. It is also anticipated that the proposed changes to O. Reg. 277/12 would likewise not increase costs for livestock or poultry producers. Animal health laboratories may see some minor costs to support information technology adjustments to update the database interface to include the flagging and reporting of the specific hazards that are to be added to the lists of notifiable hazards in O. Reg. 277/12 (i.e., a one-time cost).

Supporting materials

View materials in person

Some supporting materials may not be available online. If this is the case, you can request to view the materials in person.

Get in touch with the office listed below to find out if materials are available.

Food Safety and Environmental Policy Branch
Address

1 Stone Road West
Ontario Government Building, 2nd floor, Southwest
Guelph, ON
N1G 4Y2
Canada

Office phone number

Comment

Commenting is now closed.

This consultation was open from October 19, 2021
to December 3, 2021

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Contact

Michael Richardson

Phone number
Office
Food Safety and Environmental Policy Branch
Address

1 Stone Road West
Ontario Government Building, 2nd floor, Southwest
Guelph, ON
N1G 4Y2
Canada

Office phone number