Spacer
Eastern Ontario
AgriNews - Etcetera Publications (Chesterville) Inc.
 
Spacer Weagant Farm Supplies Ltd. www.weagantfarm.com ON THE WEB:
- new/used inventory
- spare parts
- and much more!
 
 
bullet From the Archives: Op / Ed, April 2005 Spacer   advertisement
click to zoom in
 

Or browse archive

Spacer Current Issue: Spacer
  spacer FULL ISSUES (PDF)
  spacer SEE ALL HEADLINES
  spacer WEATHER
  spacer PHOTO GALLERY
  spacer FRONT PAGE
  spacer NEWS
  spacer OP / ED
  spacer AGRIBITS
  spacer AGRIFOCUS
  spacer AGRIPROFILE
  spacer AGRIBUSINESS
  spacer OVFS
  spacer CONTACT US

 
Spacer Advertisers: Spacer
     BUSINESS DIRECTORY

Ottawa Valley Harvestore Systems
Ottawa Valley Harvestore Systems
Your authorized Harvestore Systems Dealer. New and pre-owned systems available. SlurryStore Systems, the safest and economical way to store manure. Ottawa Valley Harestore Systems is your New ROVIBEC Dealer (TMR's, Conveyors, Rollermills) See our directory listing for more info.

 
Spacer Interact: Spacer
     E-MAIL THE EDITOR
     KEEP ME POSTED!
     FREE CLASSIFIED ADS
     SEARCH THE ARCHIVES
 

  • print this article
  • send this article
  • submit / view links
  • find a typo - win a prize
  • Letter to the Editor
    Science at odds in BSE testing

    The Editor:

    The federal government's inability to take the bull by the horns in blanket testing cattle for BSE in Canada shows the serious disconnect between public policy priorities and government spending.

    The Ontario and federal governments are spending millions of dollars annually on rabies research, testing and control although rabies is the lowest public health risk in North America.

    A major partner in the rabies program, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CIFA) claims that "science" does not support the testing of all cattle for BSE. So, just where is the "science" that supports the need for this same agency to test thousands of wild animals for rabies in Ontario where almost all, or 99.8 per cent, of the animals tested have proven to be healthy?

    Why is it that CIFA supports the need for testing thousands of raccoons, which have had no contact with humans, but will not test all cattle for BSE where there is 100 per cent human exposure? In terms of economic costs, blanket testing cattle for BSE is imperative given the number of markets that will otherwise remain closed to Canadian beef.

    Previously, CIFA only tested wildlife for rabies if there had been human contact. Inexplicably, this policy changed during the 1990s, at a time when there was the least degree of risk given the significant decline in cases of rabies. That this agency became an "independent cost-recovery" operation around this time certainly raises the level of cynicism. Adding to this is the fact that the CFIA states its cost of testing raccoons for rabies is $200-$300 per animal while it costs only $30 per animal to test cattle for BSE.

    A ‘rabies industry' of government scientists, academics and private vaccine and bait manufacturers has grown dependent on millions of dollars of public funds each year. Much of the funding is allocated for research and comes from federal granting agencies like the Canada Foundation for Innovation and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.

    The Auditor General's recent report identifies the concerns associated with government foundations handing out billions of dollars without the oversight of parliament or the public. Information on how these agencies are spending our tax dollars is anything but forthcoming.

    Efforts through Freedom of Information to learn more about the rabies program have proven futile. Prohibitive fees, delays and unjustified exemptions confirms that the rabies program, with partners such as the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, is a particularly secretive, cozy and unaccountable one that is in desperate need of review.

    The problems are significant: senior bureaucrats who hide behind privacy legislation and the lack of whistle blowing protection; government agencies that are too closely aligned with the industries they are supposed to be regulating; the lack of "sunset clauses" on research that has outlived its usefulness; and the lack of accountability and transparency on the part of government granting agencies and crown corporations in dispensing millions of tax dollars in annual grants and contracts. Unfortunately, these have become the common elements in how we do business in Canada.

    Politicians need to rein in the bureaucrats and get back into the driver's seat in determining public policy priorities.

    Donna DuBreuil

    Ottawa, On

    Donna DuBreuil is President of the Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre

    and a founding member of the Ontario Wildlife Coalition

    Related Web Sites

     
     

     
     
    click to zoom in

    Robot Dairy Barn

    We Cover Structures


    Eastern Ontario AgriNews is published on the third Monday of each month. The printed version is distributed free by postal mail to farms in Eastern Ontario, Canada.

    All contents copyright © Etcetera Publications (Chesterville) Inc.
    Site implementation by NewPublishing.com