Animal Health Act


A modernized Animal Health Act came into effect on January 1, 2014. It enables a more comprehensive government response to animal diseases in both livestock and wildlife as well as helps minimize the negative economic impacts of animal disease outbreaks. Regulations to support the Act are currently in development.

Healthy wildlife populations are important for harvesting, tourism, outfitting and the overall health of Yukon’s environment. Healthy animals support competitiveness and productivity for the livestock industry.


The scope of the Animal Health Act goes beyond disease to address hazards, such as risks to human health arising from toxins in meat or bacteria in milk. The definition of “animal” includes hazards from dead stock as well as live animals.

A compensation program acknowledges that decisions made to protect the public will have economic impact on individuals. It is more likely that owners will report a hazard if they know they will be financially compensated and have a right to appeal.

The role and authority of the Chief Veterinary Officer and inspectors is set out. The act has three tools for managing hazards:

The Animal Health Act complements the federal responsibility for animal health carried out by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

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About the Animal Health Program

The Animal Health Act is shared legislation between the Departments of Energy, Mines and Resources (Agriculture Branch) and Environment (Animal Health Unit). The Yukon government established the Animal Health Unit in 2010. The Animal Health Program makes policy and management recommendations to protect animal health and support public health. It provides animal health laboratory services, maintains a database and provides surveillance to national standards.

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Additional Resources

Animal Health Program

Government of Yukon

Box 2703 (V-1)
Whitehorse, Yukon
Canada Y1A 2C6

Phone: 867-667-5652
Toll free (in Yukon): 1-800-661-0408 ext. 5652
Fax: 867-393-7197

Email: animalhealth@gov.yk.ca