Guidelines for Laboratories and Veterinarians
Concerning the Regulation for the Reporting of Hazards and Findings
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 public 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 regulation requires laboratories and veterinarians to report certain hazards and findings
On January 1, 2013, a new regulation comes into force under the Animal Health Act, 2009 that helps OMAFRA to better detect and monitor serious and emerging animal health hazards. Under the Regulation for the Reporting of Hazards and Findings (O. Reg. 277/12), 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 at OMAFRA. See:
www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/source/regs/english/2012/elaws_src_regs_r12277_e.htm

Reporting requirements
Animal owners, veterinarians and laboratories continue to be responsible for reporting some diseases to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) as they have been in the past.
See the CFIA website at: www.inspection.gc.ca/animals/terrestrialanimals/diseases/eng/1300388388234/1300388449143
Now, in addition to responsibilities for reporting to the CFIA, effective January 1, 2013, laboratories1 and veterinarians must report the situations described below to the Office of the Chief Veterinarian for Ontario (OCVO) at OMAFRA.

  • Laboratories operating in Ontario must report information related to laboratory test positive results for hazards listed in the regulation as Immediately Notifiable Hazards and Periodically Notifiable Hazards (see Table 1 for a list of hazards in each category). If an Ontario veterinarian or their client submits samples to a laboratory in Ontario that subsequently test positive for any of the Immediately Notifiable Hazards listed, it is the responsibility of the laboratory (not the submitting veterinarian), to notify the OCVO of those results immediately. However, if an Ontario veterinarian submits samples to a laboratory outside of Ontario that subsequently test positive for an Immediately Notifiable Hazard, the Ontario veterinarian is responsible for notifying the OCVO of those results immediately upon receipt from the non-Ontario laboratory. (see also below for annual reporting required from laboratories for Periodically Notifiable Hazards). Only positive laboratory tests for listed hazards are to be reported by labs or veterinarians as above.

    1Laboratories are 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.

  • 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.
  • Veterinarians must report situations of "serious risk" immediately after making a finding. As a guideline, this includes any animal disease situation that presents a very serious and unusual risk to animal health, food safety or public health. It may be indicated by an unusual cluster of disease or unusually high mortality. Examples include outbreaks of serious emerging animal diseases on multiple premises, or known contamination of an animal feed source with a toxic chemical that is likely to subsequently enter the human food chain. This regulation provides a means for such situations to be brought to the attention of authorities. Such serious situations are expected to arise infrequently, such that individual veterinarians may expect to be required to make such reports only rarely.
  • 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 or a finding of a serious risk. The information required to be included in the respective reports is described below.

How to make a report

  • Ontario laboratories reporting laboratory test positive results for Immediately Notifiable Hazards (or Ontario veterinarians reporting positive results from laboratories outside Ontario), must do so by e-mailing the required information to OCVO-Reportable-Notifiable@Ontario.ca. All emails sent to that address are automatically forwarded to the OMAFRA veterinarian-on-call in the Office of the Chief Veterinarian for Ontario.
  • A veterinarian reporting a finding of a "serious risk" must phone the Agricultural Information Contact Centre at 1-877-424-1300. An operator is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to receive calls. Amongst other things, the veterinarian must state clearly that they are a veterinarian making a report to the Chief Veterinarian for Ontario at OMAFRA. The party receiving the call will collect basic information including the veterinarian's name, contact number and the nature of the report. They will then forward that information to the OMAFRA veterinarian-on-call in the Office of the Chief Veterinarian for Ontario.
  • Depending on the situation, the OMAFRA veterinarian-on-call may contact the reporting laboratory or veterinarian to discuss the situation to ensure that OMAFRA veterinarians understand the context of the situation correctly. There is an OMAFRA veterinarian-on-call 7 days a week, 365 days a year, between the hours of 7 AM and 10 PM to assess such reports.

Information to be included in a report

The content of a report will vary depending type of report and on the information available at the time of the report. The OMAFRA veterinarian-on-call will work with laboratories and veterinarians to ensure that the appropriate information is captured. See the formal regulation for a complete list of information to be included in reports at:
www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/source/regs/english/2012/elaws_src_regs_r12277_e.htm

A summary of the required information can be found below.

Information needed when reporting a positive lab test for an "Immediately Notifiable Hazard"

  • The name of and contact information for the laboratory or veterinarian making the report.
  • The name of and contact information for the person who submitted the specimen, as well as the veterinarian (if any) who requested the sample be submitted to the laboratory.
  • The name of the Immediately Notifiable Hazard that is the subject of the report.
  • The laboratory test(s) method(s) and result(s) providing information about the hazard, including information about serovars or subtypes of the hazard detected, if available.
  • The date the sample or specimen was submitted to the laboratory.
  • The laboratory case submission (number or identification) code.
  • The location (municipal address) at which the specimen was taken or collected.
  • The name and contact information for the owner and custodian of the animals involved.
  • The type, purpose and approximate ages of the animals involved.
  • The number of animals (by type) that were: a) at risk, b) clinically ill, and c) dead, in relation to the situation, at the time the samples were collected.

Information needed when reporting a finding of "Serious Risk"

  • The contact information for the veterinarian making the report.
  • A description of the finding that is the subject of the report, including
  • the date and time of the finding,
    • the name of any hazard that the veterinarian suspects ,
    • a description of the clinical presentation of the disease, including the date of onset of symptoms and any adverse effects that have occurred or may occur,
    • the veterinarian's differential diagnosis,
    • the current course of treatment, if treatment is being provided.
  • A description of the control measures taken,
  • A description of the steps that have been taken to determine the cause of the serious risk
  • If samples or specimens have been submitted to a laboratory in relation to the finding,
    • the name and contact information of the laboratory,
    • the date the samples or specimens were submitted to the laboratory,
    • a description of the testing requested, and the results, if they are known.
  • If the finding is in respect of an animal or thing related to an animal (e.g. product etc.)
    • the contact information for every veterinarian who provides services to the animal,
    • the contact information for the owner and custodian of the animal or thing(s)
    • the location of the animal or thing (municipal address) and any unique identifiers that would assist in determining the location of the animal or thing,
    • the type, purpose and approximate ages of the animals involved.
    • the number of animals (by type) that were: a) at risk, b) clinically ill, and c) dead, in relation to the situation, at the time of the finding.
  • All other information in the veterinarian's knowledge that is relevant to the finding.

Annual reporting by laboratories for "Periodically Notifiable Hazards"

Once a year, veterinary diagnostic laboratories in Ontario are also required to submit data to OMAFRA on tests conducted for a list of "Periodically Notifiable Hazards" (see Table 1). This is the responsibility of Ontario laboratories and not veterinarians in clinical practice. This is in addition to laboratories reporting "Immediately Notifiable Hazards" as described above. These annual reports provide information on disease trends and illustrate animal health surveillance coverage in Ontario. Annual reports must be submitted electronically to OCVO-Reportable-Notifiable@Ontario.ca. by January 31 and contain the data for the previous calendar year. Since laboratories differ in the range of diagnostic testing they offer, OMAFRA staff will work directly with individual veterinary laboratories operating in Ontario to establish electronic file formats and data transfer procedures. See the formal regulation for a complete list information to be included in annual reports at

www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/source/regs/english/2012/elaws_src_regs_r12277_e.htm

Examples of the information needed in laboratory reports for each specimen tested during the previous year for "Periodically Notifiable Hazards" include:

  • The name of the periodically notifiable hazard for which the specific test was conducted.
  • The laboratory case submission code and date the specimen was received at the laboratory.
  • The type and purpose of the animal from which the specimen was collected.
  • The type of specimen that was tested.
  • The test(s) method(s) and result(s), indicating whether the sample tested positive, negative or inconclusive.
  • Information about the serovars or subtypes of the notifiable hazard detected, if available.
  • The name of the municipality in which the animal or thing sampled was located at the time the specimen was collected.
  • The number of animals (by type) that were: a) at risk, b) clinically ill, and c) dead in relation to the situation, at the time the samples were collected.

What happens after a report is submitted?

Upon receiving a report of a notifiable hazard or serious risk, or upon seeing a significant trend in an annual report, OMAFRA will consult with appropriate experts to assess the risk of the situation and respond in a manner that is proportionate to the risk presented by the situation. Depending on the circumstances and level of risk, OMAFRA's response may include any one or any combination of the following:

  • recording the event and waiting to see if other test positives or situations are reported,
  • working with labs, 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.

More Information:

For more information on the regulations under the Animal Health Act of Ontario, please see…
Frequently Asked Questions document at:
www.Ontario.ca/animalhealth
Reporting Regulation (O. Reg. 277/12) at:
www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/source/regs/english/2012/elaws_src_regs_r12277_e.htm
Compensation Regulation (O. reg. 278/12) at:
www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/source/regs/english/2012/elaws_src_regs_r12278_e.htm
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

List of Immediately Notifiable and
Periodically Notifiable Hazards
By Regulation under the
Ontario Animal Health Act, 2009
Hazard Name
Immediately Notifiable (based on laboratory positive)
Periodically (annually) Notifiable by labs
Adenovirus  
X
African horse sickness*
X
X
African swine fever*
X
X
Aino virus infection
X
X
Akabane disease
X
X
Anaplasmosis* (Anaplasma marginale, A. centrale, A. ovis)
X
X
Anthrax* (Bacillus anthracis)
X
X
Avian chlamydiosis (Chlamydophila psittaci)
X
X
Avian encephalomyelitis
X
X
Avian infectious laryngotracheitis (ILT)
X
X
Avian mycoplasmosis  
X
Avian tuberculosis  
X
Besnoitiosis
X
X
Blackleg (Clostridium species)  
X
Blastomycosis  
X
Bluetongue*
X
X
Borna disease
X
X
Botulism
X
X
Bovine babesiosis (Babesia protozoa)
X
X
Bovine cysticercosis*
X
X
Bovine ephemeral fever
X
X
Bovine genital campylobacteriosis  
X
Bovine malignant catarrhal fever
X
Bovine petechial fever (Ehrlichia ondiri)
X
X
Bovine spongiform encephalopathy *(BSE)
X
X
Bovine tuberculosis *(Mycobacterium bovis)
X
X
Bovine viral diarrhea (BVD or mucosal disease)
X
Brucellosis* Brucella abortus, B. suis, B. melitensis, B. canis
X
X
Caprine arthritis-encephalitis  
X
Caseous lymphadenitis  
X
Chronic wasting disease* of cervids (CWD)
X
X
Classical swine fever* (hog cholera)
X
X
Clostridial infections (other than Blackleg)  
X
Coccidiosis  
X
Contagious agalactia (Mycoplasma agalactiae)
X
X
Contagious bovine pleuropneumonia*(Mycoplasma mycoides)
X
X
Contagious caprine pleuropneumonia (CCPP) (Mycoplasma capricolum)
X
X
Contagious equine metritis* (CEM) Taylorella equigenitalis
X
X
Coxiellosis (Q-fever) (Coxiella burnetii)
X
X
Cryptococcosis  
X
Cryptosporidiosis  
X
Dourine
X
X
Duck hepatitis
X
X
Duck virus enteritis  
X
Egg drop syndrome (Fowl adenovirus)
X
X
Enterovirus encephalomyelitis (Teschen disease)
X
X
Enzootic abortion of ewes (Chlamydophila abortus)  
X
Enzootic bovine leukosis (EBL)  
X
Epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD)
X
X
Epizootic lymphangitis
X
X
Equid herpesvirus (non-neurologic)  
X
Equid herpesvirus 1 (neurologic)
X
X
Equine encephalomyelitis western, eastern and Venezuelan*
X
X
Equine infectious anemia*
X
X
Equine piroplasmosis* Babesia equi, B. caballi
X
X
Equine viral arteritis  
X
Foot and mouth disease* (FMD)
X
X
Fowl cholera (Pasteurella multocida)
X
X
Fowl pox  
X
Fowl typhoid* Salmonella Gallinarum
X
X
Giardiasis  
X
Glanders
X
X
Goose parvovirus infections (Derzsy's disease)
X
X
Hantavirus
X
X
Heartwater (cowdriosis) Ehrlichia (Cowdria) ruminantium
X
X
Hendra virus
X
X
Herpesvirus of cervidae
X
X
Histoplasmosis  
X
Ibaraki disease
X
X
Infectious bovine rhinotracheitis  
X
Infectious bursal disease  
X
Influenza (Influenza A virus)
X
X
Japanese encephalitis
X
X
Leptospirosis  
X
Listeriosis (Listeria monocytogenes)
X
X
Louping ill
X
X
Lumpy skin disease*
X
X
Lyme disease  
X
Maedi-visna  
X
Marek's disease  
X
Nairobi sheep disease
X
X
Newcastle disease*
X
X
Nipah virus
X
X
Ovine epididymitis  
X
Paratuberculosis (Johne's disease)  
X
Peste des petits ruminants*
X
X
Plague (Yersinia pestis)
X
X
Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS)  
X
Pseudorabies* (Aujeszky's disease)
X
X
Pullorum disease* Salmonella Pullorum
X
X
Rabies*
X
X
Ranavirus  
X
Rift Valley fever*
X
X
Rinderpest*
X
X
Salmonellosis (Salmonella sub-typed)
X
X
Scrapie*
X
X
Screwworm (Cochliomyia hominivorax and Chrysomyia bezziana)
X
X
Sheep and goat pox*
X
X
Small hive beetle (Aethina tumida)
X
X
Strangles  
X
Swine dysentery (Brachyspira hyodysenteriae)  
X
Swine vesicular disease*
X
X
Theileriasis
X
X
Tick-borne fever (Cytoecetes phagocytphila)
X
X
Tissue worm (Elaphostrongylus cervi)
X
X
Transmissible gastroenteritis (TGE)  
X
Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs other than BSE, CWD and Scrapie)  
X
Trichinellosis
X
X
Trichomoniasis  
X
Trypanosomiasis (exotic to Canada)
X
X
Tularemia (Francisella tularensis)
X
X
Turkey viral rhinotracheitis (swollen head syndrome, avian rhinotracheitis)
X
X
Varroa mites (fluvinate-resistant)
X
X
Verocytotoxigenic Escherichia coli (VTEC)
X
X
Vesicular stomatitis*
X
X
Viral hemorrhagic disease of rabbits
X
X
Wesselsbron's disease
X
X
West Nile virus
X
X
Yersiniosis  
X

Note: As of October 2012, by regulation under the federal Health of Animals Act, hazards marked above with an * are "Reportable" to your local CFIA District Veterinarian or CFIA's emergency phone number at 1-877-814-2342. See the CFIA web site at for more information on federally reportable and also federally immediately notifiable diseases at:
www.inspection.gc.ca/animals/terrestrialanimals/diseases/eng/1300388388234/1300388449143

 


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