Months after Canadian farmers raised alarms about Schmallenberg virus in Europe, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency has finally announced it’s tightening standards for importing livestock, semen and embryos.
"This government is committed to protecting the health and safety of Canadian livestock and the livelihoods that depend on them," said Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz in a news release.
The news release went out after business hours in Eastern Canada late Friday afternoon, meaning that most agricultural news media won't catch up with the news until Monday.
The CFIA says animals or embryos destined for Canada must test negative for the virus. That means cattle, bison, water buffalo, sheep and goats.
Schmallengurg virus, which is spread by biting insects, causes fever, diarrhea, reduced milk production and birth defects. It’s not believed to harm humans.
The CFIA has posted import requirements on its website at Reference System (AIRS).