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2021 Recipient of the Canadian Animal Health Institute’s Industry Leadership Award

·3-min read

2021 CAHI Industry Leadership Award Winner

Dr. Mary Jane Ireland, CFIA, with her plaque
Dr. Mary Jane Ireland, CFIA, with her plaque
Dr. Mary Jane Ireland, CFIA, with her plaque

GUELPH, Ontario, June 14, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Dr. Mary Jane Ireland, Executive Director of the Animal Health Directorate and Deputy Chief Veterinary Officer at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), was presented with the Canadian Animal Health Institute’s (CAHI) Industry Leadership Award at its Annual General Meeting on June 10th, 2021. This award recognizes key contributors to animal health in Canada who work tirelessly to enhance the health of our pets and livestock. In her previous role as Director General of the Veterinary Drugs Directorate at Health Canada, she worked closely with CAHI members and other Canadian stakeholders to pioneer and promote collaboration between foreign and Canadian regulatory authorities, initiate the development of key regulations and encouraged stakeholder input to develop practical solutions to regulatory challenges. In her current role with the CFIA, her influence is already being felt by CAHI members and industry partners in the modernization and streamlining of processes at the Canadian Centre for Veterinary Biologics and the Animal Feed Division.

“Mary Jane’s expertise and leadership, coupled with her unique ability to understand both industry and government perspectives, have allowed her to champion innovative and risk-based approaches to meet the unique challenges of the Canadian animal health industry”, said Dr. Catherine Filejski, CAHI President & CEO. “She is recognized and well-respected internationally for her innovative attitude, and her commitment to a high quality regulatory system to ensure a safe food supply for Canadians, support our export markets, and uphold animal welfare by ensuring the health of our pets and livestock through better access to veterinary products.”

Under Mary Jane’s leadership, several Health Canada initiatives became a reality:

  • Implementation of simultaneous veterinary pharmaceutical reviews through the Canada-United States Regulatory Cooperation Council

  • Participation in joint veterinary pharmaceutical reviews with New Zealand and Australia, leading to the publication of a guidance document in August 2020 for future reviews of this type

  • Policy and regulatory changes to promote greater controls for antimicrobial resistance within veterinary medicine that moved all medically important antimicrobials to prescription status, while at the same time taking the opportunity to address the long-recognized need for tighter controls on active pharmaceutical ingredient importation and own use importation

  • Formalization of the Veterinary Health Product category and its expansion from companion to food animals

  • Encouraging industry to sponsor minor use, minor species (MUMS) regulatory submissions

Mary Jane’s leadership and support for an effective regulatory system for animal health products is based on global best practices and appreciated by CAHI and its members. CAHI is pleased to award Mary Jane with its Industry Leadership award as her commitment to animal health is undeniable.

About the CAHI
Members of CAHI provide Canada’s veterinarians and animal owners with the animal medications necessary to maintain the health of our pets and food animal population. More on the CAHI can be found on our website at:

About Health Canada & CFIA
The Veterinary Drugs Directorate (VDD) at Health Canada works to protect human and animal health and the safety of Canada's food supply by evaluating and monitoring the safety, quality, and effectiveness of veterinary drugs. VDD also set standards for food safety and promote the responsible use of veterinary drugs for pets and food-producing animals. The Animal Health Directorate at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency addresses a diverse portfolio of responsibilities related to terrestrial and aquatic animal health, animal pathogens, livestock feed, veterinary biologics.

Colleen McElwain, Programs Director
Canadian Animal Health Institute
(519) 763-7777

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

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