Date of this Version
The Canadian Cooperative Wildlife Health Centre (CCWHC) was established in 1992 as an organization among Canada's 4 veterinary colleges, with a mandate to apply veterinary medicine to wildlife management and conservation in Canada. A major function of the CCWHC is nation-wide surveillance of wild animal diseases. Disease surveillance is conceived as consisting of 4 different activities: detection, diagnosis, information management, and use of information. In the CCWHC surveillance program, detection of disease is carried out by a wide range of professional and avocational field personnel, and much effort is expended to stimulate and support this activity. Diagnosis is done by personnel of provincial and federal veterinary laboratories and the CCWHC. Information management is achieved through a national database of wildlife disease incidents developed and maintained by the CCWHC. Use of information is enabled through established channels for distribution of information derived from the surveillance program to persons responsible for wildlife programs and policies, and to the public. There has been a high demand for the services of the CCWHC since its establishment. The CCWHC responds to approximately 2000 requests for information annually, distributes its newsletter to over 1700 recipients, examines approximately 1200 wild animal submissions each year, and has accumulated records of over 5000 disease incidents in its database. Technical information from the CCWHC has benefited federal, provincial/territorial, and non-government wildlife agencies; endangered species recovery programs; federal and provincial veterinary services; and federal and provincial public health programs.