Gang Li of Guelph, Ontario, was convicted on Feb. 20 in the Ontario Court of Justice of violating Canada’s Health of Animals Act and the associated Health of Animals Regulations. He was ordered to pay fines totaling $20,000.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) brought the legal action against Li. According to court documents, Li arrived at the Lester B. Pearson International Airport in Mississauga, Ontario, on Jan.24, 2017.
The Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) intercepted Li’s flight and found he was transporting seven undeclared test tubes of an unknown substance in his checked baggage, which he did not declare upon arrival.
Laboratory testing later confirmed the items included the following viruses; Peste des Petits Ruminants, Newcastle disease, Duck Adenovirus 1, and Parainfluenza Virus 5.
Peste des Petits Ruminants (PPR) is a highly contagious viral disease that mainly affects sheep and goats. Heavy losses can be seen, especially in goats, with morbidity and mortality rates sometimes approaching 80 percent to 100 percent. At one time, PPR was thought to be restricted to the Middle East and limited areas of Africa and Asia.
Newcastle disease is caused by virulent strains of Newcastle disease virus (NDV), which causes substantial morbidity and mortality events worldwide in poultry. The virus strains can be differentiated as lentogenic, mesogenic, or velogenic based on a mean death time in chicken embryos.
Duck adenovirus 1 is a species of hemagglutinating adenovirus that’s been associated with egg drop syndrome.
Parainfluenza Virus 5 is a possible cause of severe respiratory disease in calves in China. It is an infectious respiratory disease that has been prevalent in weaning calves.
Li was transporting the viruses without any permits or documentation for the pathogenic organisms.
According to Canadian Food Inspection Agency, the viruses Li was moving by commercial air service pose a serious threat to animals, which is why their importation and movement is strictly regulated in Canada. Importation of some pathogenic organisms is prohibited by Canada.
The CFIA is responsible for administration and enforcement of Canada’s Health of Animals Act and accompanying regulations.
Next to face CFIA charges in court will be 9301-1062 Quebec Inc, doing business as Aliments Gaudium. CFIA accused Aliments Gaudium on Feb. 5 of selling extra virgin olive oil in 1-litre glass bottles bearing the Aurum brand name in a “false and misleading” manner.
The charge, brought under the country’s Food and Drug Act, will be heard Wednesday (Feb.27) in the Montreal Courthouse of the Court of Quebec
CFIA is also responsible for the administration and enforcement of the Food and Drugs Act.
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