Hopefully, we’ll never have to put this to the test, but here’s an interesting element of the Canadian plan to deal with a foreign animal disease outbreak. Most people don’t realize it, but part of Canada’s livestock traceability system involves the West Hawk Lake Zoning Initiative. Located on the Trans-Canada Highway near the Manitoba-Ontario border, the West Hawk Lake control site is the only passage point for commercial vehicles between Eastern and Western Canada. This single-road checkpoint effectively establishes two zones in Canada in the event of a serious disease outbreak such as Foot and Mouth Disease. Since December 6, the checkpoint has tracked all the cattle moving one way or the other. Information about the passage of animals across the checkpoint, including animal identification and destination premises, is gathered and stored in a database. Officials say the information gathered will significantly enhance the capacity to contain disease and mitigate associated risks. Having the country divided into two zones should mean that only one part of the country would be affected by a trade disruption in the event of a disease outbreak. Other zoning opportunities across the country are being explored. I’m Kevin Hursh.


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