The increase announced to the Capital Gains tax in the last federal budget is something that many CVMA members have asked CVMA to oppose and push back on with the government.

Please see the letter that was sent on May 13, 2024 to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance on this issue here.

CVMA has also sent a copy of this letter to senior officials in each of the respective departments that serve the Ministers outlined in this letter, including:

  • Agriculture and Agri-Food
  • Employment, Workforce Development Canada
  • Finance Canada
  • Health Canada
  • Rural Economic Development Canada

Given they are also opposed to the increase in the Capital Gains Tax, and that CVMA has offered to partner on joint advocacy against this with them, CVMA has also shared this letter with the Canadian Medical Association and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

This letter follows recent government meetings that CVMA had with Minister Boissonnault on April 30th as part of the Commissioner for Employers’ Business Liaison Group at Employment and Social Development Canada, and on May 8th with officials from Rural Economic Development at Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada.

Next Steps

Dear Partners,

I trust this message finds you in good health and spirit. I am writing to formally share that after nearly five years of serving as Chief Veterinary Officer, I will be embarking on a new career endeavor and my last day will be April 30th. I am excited to share that I am taking on a new role as Director of Veterinarians Without Borders for the US and Canada to expand veterinary outreach programs and emergency response locally to underserved communities across North America.

I want to express my deep gratitude to you all for the incredible support, collaboration, and partnership that you have shared with the team and I throughout my time as CVO. Working alongside partners like you has been an enriching and rewarding experience. Your dedication to advancing animal health and welfare in Manitoba has been truly inspiring, and influential and   I am honored to have been a part of this important work.

I have had the privilege of learning from my team and your diverse sectors within Manitoba’s vibrant agricultural and animal health community. From our discussions and collaborations, I have gained invaluable insights and perspectives that have helped shape my approach to addressing high-impact issues animal health and welfare through strong partnerships and honest communication. I am grateful for the opportunity to have worked alongside such dedicated and passionate individuals, organisations and provincial community.

Over the years, our team has made significant milestones together, including strengthening animal welfare programming, enhancing our veterinary diagnostic capacity, and expanding our ability to respond to disease outbreaks and improve animal welfare through the addition of a new animal health and welfare specialist team and building additional capacities in our branch. I am confident that the strong partnerships and collaborations we have built together will continue to flourish under new leadership.

As the Department searches for the next CVO, you will be in good hands with both Drs Douma and Duizer in CVO acting coverage and Dr. Joachim for the Animal Welfare Program. Our ADM Maurice Bouvier is actively involved in the branch to ensure a seamless transition period.

Thank you once again for your partnership, friendship, and dedication. It has been an absolute privilege to serve as Chief Veterinary Officer, and I am deeply grateful for the opportunity. I look forward to staying connected and continuing to collaborate with each of you in new capacities in the future.


Best regards,

Dr. Scott Zaari, DVM

Provincial Chief Veterinary Officer


As Dr. Zaari moves on to new professional endeavors, the MVMA wishes him every success and deeply appreciates his contributions to our community.

The MVMA Council expresses its heartfelt thanks to all applicants for their time and interest in the Veterinary Technologist Council Member position. We are pleased to announce that Laura Greenhalgh RVT will be joining us as a Councilor on the MVMA Council.

Laura Greenhalgh’s journey in animal care spans over two decades, during which time she has showcased her proficiency as a Registered Veterinary Technologist across various animal hospitals. Additionally, Laura served as an Animal Services Officer for the City of Winnipeg and currently serves as an Animal Health and Welfare Specialist with the Manitoba Government. Laura’s multifaceted role encompasses enforcement of the Animal Care Act, disease outbreak management, and policy development.

Welcome, Laura!

The unfortunate discovery of an Influenza A – H5N1 virus infecting dairy cattle in the United States has raised concerns in the livestock industry across North America.  Infected cows exhibit severe clinical effects, milk drops, fevers, and flu like symptoms. Fortunately, the infected cows do recover.

Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (H5N1) causes severe issues in poultry and waterfowl.  At present the infection in cattle is being referred to as an emerging disease – Influenza A, H5N1

Reports from the cases in the US suggest that cattle are becoming infected from diseased migratory wild birds. As Manitoba is situated in one of the major migratory wild bird fly zones we must be vigilant about this disease.

Preliminary gene sequencing has not indicated that there is any evidence of a major mutation of the HPAI virus. At present this HPAI virus has not been diagnosed in any feedlots, beef herds or swine herds.

To ensure adequate support, response and notification, Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) in birds and Influenza A in any species is reportable in Manitoba.  Manitoba’s Chief Veterinary Office (CVO) wants to ensure producers and veterinarians have the support necessary to address any suspect influenza A – H5N1 cases.  The provincial Animal Disease Investigation program is available for any veterinarian that encounters a suspect case.  Veterinarians assessing animals with wild bird exposure that either fit the symptoms in dairy cattle described below or show unexplained influenza A symptoms (especially neurologic) can contact the CVO through the emergency response email at or can call Dr Glen Duizer at (204) 471 4758 or Dr Doug Bazinet (204) 599 7784 to determine whether it is appropriate to submit samples for influenza testing.

Note the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) will be providing a guidance document on H5N1 to veterinarians across Canada shortly.  We will provide an update once that document becomes available.

The investigation will provide support with the following:

  • Determination of appropriate samples
  • Cost of diagnostic sampling, including but not limited to Influenza testing
  • Professional time for the veterinarian when assisting with the clinical and diagnostic assistance with the suspected herd/animals.
  • Assistance with Bio-security on and within the affected farm.
  • Notification to the CFIA district office if further follow up is required.

Farmers and veterinary practitioners should be considering HPAI if the following herd symptoms are occurring:

  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Minimal respiratory symptoms
  • Fevers
  • Severe drop in milk production
  • Milk becomes yellow and thick (colostrum like) and increased SCC
  • Manure variable – diarrhea and/or thick and pasty
  • Morbidity – 10 to 15% of the herd affected
    • In the initial herds – mature cows in mid to later stages of lactation
  • Mortality – less than 1%
  • Symptoms peak at 3 to 6 days
  • Recovery is gradual 15 +/- days

Based on our current information, it appears the virus has an affinity to replicate in mammary tissue. We have yet to identify animals with confirmed virus replication in tissues other than mammary tissue and milk.

Milk from affected animals should be discarded until they return to normal. Unpasteurized milk and any other raw milk products should not be used for human consumption.

At the present time there is very minimal risk to human health.

As most of our dairy herds are housed indoors at this time of the year, this should minimize the risk of HPAI becoming an issue. However, enhanced biosecurity is recommended to minimize exposure of your cattle to HPAI. The herd veterinarian and the CVO will assist with additional biosecurity procedures should a premises be diagnosed with HPAI.  An updated link with HPAI reference is listed below.

Dairy Biosecurity Recommendations for HPAI and More (

There remains concerns about HPAI in wild birds. Manitobans are asked to contact the TIP Line (toll-free) at 1-800-782-0076, if they find any of the following:

  • clusters of six or more dead waterfowl (e.g., ducks, geese) or other water birds;
  • any number of dead raptors or avian scavengers (e.g., ravens, crows, gulls); and
  • large groups of dead birds, such as more than 20 of any species.

– Manitoba’s Chief Veterinary Office

On behalf of Dr. Gillian Muir, Dean of WCVM:

Dear WCVM alumni and the entire veterinary community across Western Canada,

I am very sorry to let you know that Dr. Barry Blakley passed away over the weekend. He was joking and telling stories days before, and he was with his family and peaceful at the time of his passing.

It’s difficult to imagine our WCVM community without Barry, who has been part of this college for more than 50 years – as a veterinary student, a graduate student, a teacher, a department head, a researcher, a diagnostician, a mentor and a true storyteller.

Barry was internationally known for his expertise in veterinary toxicology. In addition to his teaching, research and diagnostic work at the WCVM and Prairie Diagnostic Services, Barry played an integral role in helping to develop the University of Saskatchewan’s Toxicology Centre. In recognition of his efforts, Barry received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the centre during its 40th anniversary celebrations in June 2023.

Barry’s commitment and outstanding service to the college, and to veterinarians and producers across Western Canada cannot be overstated. The Saskatchewan Veterinary Medical Association (SVMA) also honoured Barry for his service to the SVMA, the profession and the public by presenting him with the J.J. Murison Distinguished Veterinarian Award in 2019 — the highest level of recognition that the SVMA can bestow on a member.

Barry has been a good friend, colleague and supporter to many of us. For me, Barry played a very important role in my life — personally and professionally — and I know that so many others feel the same.

The funeral service for Dr. Blakley will take place next week.

Time: 1 p.m., Friday, March 22, 2024

Location: Augustana Evangelical Lutheran Church

Address: 1201 Broadway Ave, Saskatoon, Sask.

For those unable to attend in person, the funeral will be livestreamed in Room 2115 for the WCVM community.

Online access:

Barry, with his usual generosity, has established a scholarship: the Barry Blakley Graduate Student Award. Dr. Blakley’s family requests that donations be made to this scholarship in lieu of flowers or other gifts. To contribute, visit (select the “Barry Blakley Graduate Student Award” under the “Gift Designation” tab).

Barry will be sorely missed by all of us, and we send our deepest condolences to his family.

The obituary for Dr. Blakley can be found at the following link:

Red River College Polytechnic (RRCP) is looking for small animal cadavers under 30 lbs, with a preference for males. These cadavers are utilized for various educational labs; animals with profuse skin disease or that have died through traumatic circumstances cannot be accepted because they do not hold up well to being frozen and subsequently thawed. RRCP will pay for the cremation costs for all donated animals once they are no longer suitable for educational purposes.

Please contact Heather Laurie at for further information or if you have a cadaver you feel would fit our needs.

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Mission: To protect the public through the regulation of veterinary medicine, to support our members and to promote the profession in Manitoba.

Vision: A sustainable veterinary community working together to prioritize the health and welfare of animals, people and the environment.

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Statement: The MVMA is committed to equity, diversity and inclusion across gender identity, ethnicity, religion, age, neurodiversity, physical or mental ability, sexual orientation, and marital status. The MVMA membership is multicultural and we value multiple approaches and different points of view in a safe, positive and collaborative environment.


Become an MVMA Member – Learn about the requirements to become a licensed veterinarian or registered veterinary technologist.

Veterinary Medicine – Find out how veterinary medicine impacts the lives of animals.

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