The Pan-Canadian approach to wildlife health is a comprehensive strategy designed to protect the socioeconomic, cultural, and ecological value of healthy wildlife. It seeks to develop, support, and maintain capacities and activities that will reduce risks from invasive alien species, wildlife diseases, and illegal wildlife trade. This approach also involves research and knowledge transfer that leads to new public policies and practices to forecast ways to prevent adverse wildlife health outcomes and maintain trust and access to the services that wildlife provides to Canadians. The Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative has been advocating for this modernization of wildlife health for the past four years. They have worked closely with governmental and non-governmental partners to ensure fair and safe access to the market and public use of natural resources, which together represent billions of dollars for the Canadian economy.
The Cooperative has also been responsible for planning and managing the capacities and functions needed to provide a national perspective on wildlife health, periodically collecting a pan-Canadian perspective on the state of wildlife health, and ensuring the timely exchange of policy-relevant knowledge emerging from the network. At the core of this approach are priority threat-based mitigation initiatives. These initiatives are designed to adapt to changing needs and new knowledge, as well as create new opportunities to expand the network of skills and knowledge to meet the modern demands of a national wildlife health program. The Pan-Canadian approach builds on the foundations created by the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative by maintaining and supplementing basic health management and intelligence capacities. Federal, provincial, and territorial governments all have their own wildlife health programs within their mandates. However, many wildlife health issues fall on various departments and levels of government.
The Pan-Canadian approach to wildlife health will ensure that these issues are addressed in an effective manner. Innovation in wildlife health is essential for protecting the socioeconomic, cultural, and ecological value of healthy wildlife. This approach presents a vision of wildlife health that will help Canadians access the services that wildlife provides while also maintaining trust in these services.