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Livestock Market Interruption Strategy - Helping the Livestock Industry and Governments Get Prepared

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Why do we need a strategy?

Canada’s red meat industry depends on trade, but what happens when an emergency strikes and the borders close overnight? One confirmed case of foot-and-mouth disease could have a generational impact on farmers. The Livestock Market Interruption Strategy (LMIS) was designed by industry and governments to ensure a coordinated, rapid response to such emergencies.

Approximately 70% of hogs and pork products are exported
50% of cattle and beef products are exported

Everyone has a role to play in responding and minimizing the impacts – coordinating actions benefit all stakeholders

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Border Closure equals Processors lose markets plus Farm gate prices collapse plus Immediate surplus of healthy animals plus Flow of animals nearly stops

What's included in the strategy?

The LMIS includes tools and research developed by federal and provincial governments, as well, as the industry, to help everyone involved prepare for emergencies, specifically the loss of markets for their healthy animals.

The strategy is now available to support decision-making and coordinated actions during an emergency. Areas of focus are:

  • Humanely depopulating and disposing of carcasses using accepted animal welfare practices
  • Communicating internally, to the general public and to media
  • Working collaboratively through a coordinated governance  structure

How can the strategy be used now?

Stakeholders are encouraged to promote the strategy, using its tools to assess any gaps in preparedness, and develop plans accordingly.

  • Governments can:
    • increase awareness of the risks to the livestock sector
    • determine (in collaboration with industry) best practices and lessons learned from recent events and emergency plans of other countries
  • Industry can:
    • boost awareness of the strategy across the sector
    • develop a slaughter facility usage and maximization strategy

For additional information, or to request the specific tools identified in the strategy, please contact Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada at

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Livestock Market Interruption Strategy - Helping the Livestock Industry and Governments Get Prepared (PDF version, 259 KB)

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