Province underprepared for animal disease, says auditor general

A report recommends the province’s department of agriculture prepare a response plan for livestock diseases "identified as significant to Manitoba.”

Commodity groups support the audit’s recommendations


By Geralyn Wichers, Manitoba Co-operator (Canada)

February 16, 2021


Producer groups say they support the auditor general’s recommendations that the province do more to prepare for an animal disease outbreak, but say government staff are working hard to help.


“They’ve been highly engaged and they’ve given everything that they can,” said Jenelle Hamblin of the province’s chief veterinary officer and Manitoba Agriculture staff.


“I think that if we had more time, more people, more funding, we probably could do more,” said Hamblin who is manager of swine health programs with Manitoba Pork. “We’re working with what we have, and I think that we have done a very good job.”


In a report released late January, Manitoba’s auditor general, Tyson Shtykalo, concluded that “the Department of Agriculture and Resource Development… is working to prevent and prepare for animal disease emergencies, but significant more needs to be done.”


Shtykalo found no emergency response plans were in place for most diseases of interest...