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National BSE Surveillance Reimbursement Program

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The enhanced BSE surveillance program targets animals most at risk for the disease, which are cattle of any age exhibiting neurological signs consistent with BSE and cattle aged 30 months and older that are dead, down, diseased or dying. The BSE surveillance program provides essential information that tells us how effective Canada's BSE control measures are. It helps Canada to secure and maintain international market access for live cattle, beef products and by-products. The program also helps to maintain consumer confidence in Canadian beef by demonstrating the very low level of the disease in the cattle population. The effectiveness of the national BSE surveillance program relies on the strong commitment from all levels of government, producers, private veterinarians and industry stakeholders to finding the disease. Canadian cattle producers have a key role to play in the enhanced surveillance program. They are best placed to monitor the health of their herds and spot any animals that should be tested. Producers across Canada are encouraged to immediately report these animals to their local veterinarian or their local Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) office.

The Reimbursement Program

There is a program where producers and veterinarians will receive payment when services are provided to the CFIA. Such payment may assist producers in covering a portion of the veterinary examination fees and carcass disposal costs. Payment is only available to producers who report high-risk animals that yield an eligible brain sample. An animal or sample may be considered to be ineligible when it is associated with a confirmed diagnosis that rules out BSE as an underlying or contributing factor in the animal's clinical presentation. To be eligible for payment, producers must meet all the terms and conditions of the National Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy Surveillance Program Agreement and sign the Agreement Form.

In provinces where there are joint agreements or top-ups on reimbursement amounts, the reimbursement program details may be modified. In all cases, the National Reimbursement Program fundamentals are still in place. Additional information can be obtained from regional CFIA offices or provincial representatives.

How the Reimbursement Program Works

Producers are eligible for payment when an eligible sample is obtained and all other terms and conditions of the Agreement are met. Producers will receive an amount of $75 directly from the CFIA to assist them in covering carcass disposal costs either on farm or through commercial deadstock streams. Additionally, CFIA will pay up to a maximum of $100 for veterinary services, which CFIA will pay directly to the Veterinarian.

In each case the completed National Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy Surveillance Program Agreement Form and eligible sample must be submitted to a local CFIA office.

Through the CFIA

Producers who contact the CFIA directly, without the involvement of a private veterinarian, to report an animal for testing are eligible for the $75, if services are rendered and all applicable conditions are met. Producers may report animals for testing by contacting their local CFIA office. Once CFIA has been contacted, an inspector will be sent to the farm to collect the sample and submit it to the laboratory. At that time the Producer will be required to complete page one of the National Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy Surveillance Program Agreement Form and submit it to the CFIA inspector. Receipt of the Agreement Form will trigger the reimbursement payment process, resulting in a payment of $75 to the Producer.

Through a Private Veterinarian

In the case where a producer chooses to have a private veterinarian conduct a veterinary examination that ultimately results in an eligible sample, the CFIA will pay up to a maximum of $100 directly to the Veterinarian for the services rendered. This amount is paid by the CFIA in order to offset the whole or part of the veterinary examination costs. The Veterinarian will be expected to offset fees charged to the Producer by the amount equivalent to the reimbursement payment.

The Producer will complete page one of the National Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy Surveillance Program Agreement Form and the Veterinarian will complete page two. Collected samples must be sent by the Veterinarian, along with the completed Agreement Form, to a local CFIA office. Receipt of the Agreement Form will trigger the reimbursement process.

More Information

Additional information about the reimbursement program is available by calling the regional CFIA office.