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Canada: CFIA To Implement Monetary Penalties For BSE Violati

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Canada: CFIA To Implement Monetary Penalties For BSE Violations

Resource News International, July 05, 2005

WINNIPEG, MB, Jul 05, 2005 (Resource News International via COMTEX) -- The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has implemented new monetary penalties to reinforce its system of safeguards to prevent the spread of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) or mad cow disease, a release from the CFIA said.

Through amendments to the Agriculture and Agri-Food Administrative Monetary Penalties (AMPs) Regulations pursuant to the AMPS ACT, CFIA inspectors will be authorized to impose monetary penalties on operations which violate elements of Canada's system of BSE safeguards, the release said.

With these changes, monetary penalties could be imposed for violations of two key safeguards: the BSE feed ban and requirements for the removal of specified risk material (SRM) from food products for humans.

This will complement the monetary penalties that are already in place for failure to report suspected and actual cases of BSE, the release said.

"Canada employs a comprehensive suite of internationally-recognized, science-based measures to effectively minimize the likelihood of exposure, amplification and spread of BSE within the cattle population and to protect consumers from the associated human health risks," said Andy Mitchell, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

He said the ability to issue monetary penalties will provide CFIA inspectors with an additional enforcement tool to respond to violations of the safeguards in a more timely, effective and efficient manner.

To date, enforcement tools available to the CFIA have been limited to warnings, seizure of products suspected of or known to be out of compliance, suspension or cancellation of permits, and prosecutions. The use of monetary penalties presents numerous benefits as an enforcement tool:

- it is more efficient and cost effective than enforcement options such as prosecution;

- it decriminalizes regulatory offences by emphasizing compliance rather than punitive action;

- it provides for more immediate enforcement and corrective action; and

- it provides for the use of negotiated solutions to non-compliance for commercial violations.

The purpose of the Agriculture and Agri-Food Monetary Penalties Act is to enhance the enforcement options currently available in respect of statutes administered by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency as well as one statute administered by Health Canada, the Pest Control Products Act. It is currently applied to the Health of Animals Act, the Plant Protection Act and the Pest Control Products Act.

The regulatory changes were published in the Canada Gazette Part II on June 29 and will come into force on July 9, 2005, the CFIA said.

Resource News International

Copyright 2005 Resource News International

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