The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) announced yesterday that it will implement new monetary penalties to reinforce its system of safeguards to prevent the spread of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE).

These new changes empower CFIA inspectors to impose monetary penalties on operations which violate elements of Canada’s system of BSE safeguards. For example, monetary penalties could be imposed for violating the BSE feed ban or violating the requirement  for the removal of specified risk material (SRM) from food products for humans.

The new monetary penalties are in addition to the fines that can be received for failure to report suspected and actual cases of BSE.

“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. “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.”

Prior to this change enforcement tools have been limited to warnings, seizure of products suspected of or known to be out of compliance, suspension or cancellation of permits, and prosecutions.

CFIA press release