CAHC's role with Centre for Emerging and Zoonotic Diseases (CEZD)

CAHC was an industry partner in the CEZD-IIR (Centre for Emerging and Zoonotic Diseases – Integrated Intelligence Response) project. The project began in 2013 and was completed in 2016. The project was led by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and the Public Health Agency (PHAC). Other partners included federal departments/agencies, provincial governments, the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative, the Canadian Regulatory Veterinary Epidemiology Network and the CAHC in addition to governmental partners from Mexico and the US. The purpose of the project was to enhance intelligence generation capability from early warning signals. The project was funded by the Defense Research and Development Canada’s Centre for Security Science. It builds on some capabilities developed by the PHAC in the Canadian Network for Public Health Intelligence (CNPHI).

In this role, the CAHC participated actively in the development of the concept of developing animal disease intelligence for the purpose of early warning through the use of computerized open source literature searches combined with a community of people who added signals from personal sources and ranked the disease signals which were identified by the computer program in open source materials or were provided by those participating in the community. Through the project the computer algorithms were enhanced and became much more useful. The CAHC facilitated outreach by the CEZD-IIR team to the animal agriculture community throughout the project.

In the last year of the project, a sustainability plan was developed and with the support of CFIA, the process of implementing a sustainable plan began. The CAHC is an active partner in this process. The name has changed to Community for Emerging and Zoonotic Disease to reflect the active engagement of stakeholders from many fields of interest in animal agriculture. The computer algorithms continue to be revised and search through open source materials for disease signals which are then ranked by stakeholders. A weekly disease report is published which provides information on signals of concern. The system has the ability to send immediate notices if there is a particularly important signal.

During this phase, the CAHC has administered a producer organization survey to help identify the value that organizations see in the outputs of CEZD and has continued to provide a connection with the CEZD team to the animal agriculture community.