Animal Health Act, 2009
Reporting and Compensation Regulations
OMAFRA's Animal Health and Welfare Branch
Ontario's Animal Health Act
The Animal Health Act, 2009 (the Act) was created to keep Ontario's
animals safe and the agri-food industry strong, which in turn protects
Ontario families and strengthens our economy.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) needs
to be able to respond to animal health events in a timely manner
to control serious diseases and other significant hazards.
That's why the province has created a reporting regulation
under the Act which allows OMAFRA to get information quickly,
monitor new and emerging animal health hazards and respond accordingly.
In the reporting regulation, there are reporting requirements for
third-party animal health laboratories and for practicing veterinarians.
There are no new requirements for livestock and poultry producers
to report hazards.
The compensation regulation under the Act provides
the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs with the discretion
to pay compensation to those who have incurred certain costs or
losses as a result of actions taken or orders issued under the Act.
Effective January 1, 2013, animal health laboratories in Ontario
are required to report findings of the hazards listed in the reporting
regulation, to OMAFRA.
The immediately notifiable reports will be used to assess how much
risk the individual incident poses and the appropriate level of
response needed. This may range from no action, to education, to
inspection and implementation of control measures.
The annual reports will be used to identify new and emerging trends
and to assess the need for preventive programs.
Note that a veterinarian practising in Ontario who sends a sample
to a laboratory located outside Ontario is required to report that
laboratory's findings of any immediately notifiable hazards to OMAFRA
(laboratories outside Ontario are not required to report to us).
Veterinarians are not required to provide an annual report.
The regulation also requires veterinarians to report findings of
a very serious nature that could have implications for animals at
multiple premises or that could pose a serious risk to human health.
This requirement is intended to capture situations such as a possible
new and emerging disease, or hazards such as a contaminated animal
product entering the food chain.
The veterinary profession in Ontario has the knowledge, experience
and capacity to address most animal diseases and other hazards without
government involvement. It is only the unusual threats and hazards
with significant animal and public health risks that this regulation
seeks to address.
How to Report
Note that the provincial reporting requirements do not affect existing
federal reporting requirements to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
Owners of animals should call their local private veterinarian
when their animals are sick. The veterinarian and laboratory will
determine if reporting is required.
Laboratory reports are to be made electronically in a format agreed
to by OMAFRA. Individualized arrangements for establishing these
reports will be made with each third-party animal health laboratory
in the province.
Veterinarians reporting unusual or emerging hazards are to call
the Agricultural Information Contact Centre at 1-877-424-1300. An
OMAFRA veterinarian is on-call seven days a week to assess such
Effective January 1, 2013, compensation may be paid, at the Minister's
discretion, to owners who have incurred costs or losses as a result
of actions taken under the Act.
For example, compensation could be paid to owners for the value
of animals that are destroyed or injured as a result of actions
taken under the Act. Compensation could also be paid for cleaning
and disinfection costs or for costs associated with destruction
and disposal of an animal or thing.
The compensation regulation clarifies details around eligibility
for payment. It sets out limits for payment amounts as well as considerations
that could result in reduction or refusal of a payment.
For example, compensation will not be paid by OMAFRA for costs
or losses incurred as a result of actions taken under other legislation.
For more information on the reporting and compensation regulations,
please visit: http://www.ontario.ca/animalhealth
Links to the legislation as well as to the following helpful documents
can be found there:
Guidelines for Laboratories and Veterinarians Concerning the Regulation
for the Reporting of Hazards and Findings under the Animal Health
Act, 2009 (Ontario)
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Concerning Regulations under
the Animal Health Act, 2009 (Ontario)