Ontario Newsroom

Increasing Competitiveness In Ontario's Agri-Food Industry

Archived News Release

Increasing Competitiveness In Ontario's Agri-Food Industry

McGuinty Government Moving Forward On Farm Animal Health and Traceability Initiatives

Ontario is consulting on proposed farm animal health initiatives that will further protect public health, enhance our food safety system, increase consumer confidence, and increase the competitiveness of Ontario's agri-food industry.

The proposal includes development of legislation that would help prevent, or minimize the impact of, animal health emergencies.

Animal health legislation would help farmers by improving detection and response to animal health risks.  This would support the competitiveness of the livestock and poultry industries and enhance consumer confidence in Ontario food.

If introduced and passed, the proposal for legislation could also provide a framework for a traceability system that would provide consumer assurance and strengthen market opportunities for Ontario's agri-food industry.

Information on the development of animal health legislation is now available on the ministry's website, the Environmental Bill of Rights Registry, and the Regulatory Registry.  Until July 20, 2009, stakeholders are encouraged to review the information and provide comments, which will be considered as legislation is developed.

Quick Facts

  • Ontario's agri-food industry is a key contributor to the strength of the province's economy.
  • The sector is the largest agri-food industry in the country, contributing more than $30 billion to the economy every year, and employing more than 700,000 people.

Background Information

Additional Resources


“I believe these initiatives will enhance and strengthen the competitiveness of Ontario's agri-food industry, help protect public health and enhance food safety systems for Ontarians.”

Leona Dombrowsky

Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

“Past events show us how animal and human health are so closely connected. If introduced and passed, the proposal for animal health legislation would help us better protect animal health, and its potential impact on human health in Ontario.”

Dr. Deb Stark

Chief Veterinarian for Ontario

“We are supportive of moving forward with animal health initiatives. The ability to trace and track animal movement is an integral part of an effective biosecurity system. Being able to quickly isolate potentially infected animals and locations is extremely important in reducing the spread and economic impact of any livestock and poultry disease.”

Gord Coukell

Chair, Ontario Livestock and Poultry Council

Media Contacts



Business and Economy Health and Wellness Rural and North