The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is working with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), Equine Canada and partner organizations to develop a farm-level biosecurity standard that will help protect Canada’s equine industry from animal diseases.

A national Equine Biosecurity Advisory Committee has been established to develop this voluntary standard which will provide a common approach to preventing and controlling disease in facilities where horses are housed and kept.

The equine biosecurity standard will:

  • provide guidelines for effective biosecurity practices;
  • promote a consistent approach to reducing the risks of established, emerging and foreign animal diseases;
  • enhance equine health, welfare and productivity;
  • minimize the frequency, scope and impact of disease outbreaks;
  • increase industry’s knowledge of the risks associated with diseases; and
  • identify potential gaps in current control measures.

Good biosecurity practices limit the exposure to animal diseases. These practices allow the routine movement, transport and assembly of horses to continue, preserving the sustainability of the equine industry.

Biosecurity standards take up to two years to develop through a formalized process and participation from a broad cross-section of stakeholders, including government, academic institutions and industry organizations. Stakeholders are notified at the beginning of the development process, and committee members will be encouraged to communicate with their respective stakeholders for input throughout the development process. Stakeholders are then notified when development is complete and the standard is available.

The biosecurity standard will complement existing equine farm-level biosecurity programs while reflecting the diversity within the equine industry. Canadian equine custodians and owners have a longstanding and successful practice of implementing biosecurity measures. A national standard will build on this knowledge and help share best practices across the country to strengthen the industry as a whole.

Funding to develop the standard has been provided under the Growing Forward 2 Agricultural Policy Framework.

Learn more about national biosecurity standards.