WHITEHORSE—The Government of Yukon is seeking public comment on proposed changes to the Animal Health Act.
“Healthy wildlife populations are important for harvesting, tourism, outfitting and the overall health of Yukon’s environment,” Environment Minister Currie Dixon said. “An updated act will recognize the impacts that animal diseases can have on human health, which the current act doesn’t do.”
“An updated Animal Health Act will improve government’s ability to respond to potential future animal health issues in an effective manner,” Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources Brad Cathers said.
The deadline for providing comments on the proposed changes is April 30, 2013. A discussion document is available from Energy, Mines and Resources and Environment Yukon offices, as well as online at www.env.gov.yk.ca/animalhealth. The government is making special efforts to encourage farmers, outfitters, veterinarians and animal owners to participate, including mail-outs and meetings with stakeholders.
The proposed changes deal with the scope of the act, the role of the chief veterinary officer, compensation for losses arising from an order under the act, introduction of an appeal process, and evaluation of penalties. These changes would bring the act into line with similar legislation in other Canadian jurisdictions, to more effectively deal with risks to animal health and food security, as well as to support public health.