P.E.I. brings provincial vet job in-house

Relying until now on the services of the Atlantic Veterinary College, Prince Edward Island’s government has named a new in-house provincial veterinarian.

The province on Tuesday named Dr. Carolyn Sanford to fill the post, in which she’ll oversee policy and regulatory issues related to animal health and welfare, including livestock and poultry as well as the “cultured finfish industry.”

Sanford, already the provincial epidemiologist for the health department, will keep both roles, a decision the province said “will strengthen the link between those involved in human and animal health.”

Sanford will also handle all provincial veterinarian tasks laid out in the province’s Animal Health and Protection Act and related regulations, and oversee “provincial actions” in any potential disease outbreak in the livestock or poultry sectors, the government said.

“Dr. Sanford has extensive training as a veterinarian and her expertise in epidemiology will be of great benefit to both the livestock and aquaculture industries,” provincial Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Alan McIsaac said in a release.

Sanford replaces Dr. David Lister, a Montague veterinarian and secretary treasurer of the P.E.I. Veterinary Medical Association, who served as interim provincial veterinarian.

The interim position was meant as a “transition” post after the province concluded its memorandum of understanding with the AVC, which previously handled the provincial veterinarian duties.

“The provincial finfish industry is export-focused and has potential for growth and that is why monitoring and approving transfers is of paramount importance, to ensure diseases of local significance to the health of fish stocks are not moved between aquaculture sites or provinces,” McIsaac said.

Therefore, he said, “providing the service of a veterinarian under contract of the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries will enable growth by providing support to Island companies and assisting them to meet the requirements to transfer their fish to other provinces.”

Sanford’s job description will also include oversight for the health of finfish being transferred to and from P.E.I., and issuing certification that they meet the Atlantic provinces health criteria for such transfers.

Sanford will also serve as the province’s representative to the Canadian Council of Chief Veterinary Officers. — AGCanada.com Network

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