Archived - Evaluation of the Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) Management Program

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The Canadian Food Inspection Agency's (CFIA) Evaluation Directorate is responsible for evaluating the relevance and performance of Agency programs, policies and initiatives. This effort supports informed decision-making and enhances performance and accountability.

The Evaluation Directorate is accountable to the CFIA's Evaluation Committee, chaired by the President. All evaluations must be reported to the Evaluation Committee and must be conducted in accordance with the Treasury Board's Policy on Evaluation. Evaluation projects are selected during an annual Agency planning process, and then reflected in the Agency's Evaluation Plan, which is approved by the Evaluation Committee.


BSE is a progressive, fatal disease of the nervous system of cattle, which is associated with the presence of an abnormal protein called a prion. Canada's current comprehensive BSE Management Program is led by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). Other federal government partners in the comprehensive BSE Management Program include Health Canada (HC) and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC).

There are a number of stakeholders and beneficiaries of the BSE Program, including: Canadian beef and cattle farmers and related industries, federal government departments and agencies (CFIA, HC, PHAC, AAFC and Canada Border Services Agency) provincial governments, World Organization for Animal Health, and international governments and the Canadian public.

The findings of this evaluation are the result of comprehensive document review as well as numerous detailed interviews with parties that have a role in, or are affected by, the BSE Management Program.

Key Findings

Some of the major findings of the evaluation include:

  • There is a legitimate and necessary role for the federal government in the management of BSE.
  • The Program responds to the needs, priorities, and mandates of its major stakeholders, as well as international trading partners and organizations.
  • The Program continues to be consistent with both government-wide priorities and the CFIA's mandate.
  • Overall, the BSE Management Program has been successful at producing the expected outcomes.

The Agency has committed to addressing each of the evaluation's five (5) recommendations. Details can be found in the Management Response Action Plan (MRAP)

Complete report