Securing Canada's Animal & Food Supply Systems

Client /

Canadian Animal Health Surveillance System

Service /

Digital strategy and website development

Industry /

Non-Governmental Organizations 

Since its inception in 2015, CAHSS was designed as a network of networks to build on established animal health surveillance initiatives. Today, each primary CAHSS network revolves around a specific issue or animal type. Primary networks are linked together through 'all CAHSS' events and network leadership groups to share information and best practices for surveillance. 

Groups and individuals that are involved in animal health surveillance in Canada and support the CAHSS principles can become network members. Participation is voluntary. Currently, industry and veterinary associations and their members, and federal-provincial-territorial governments including agriculture and animal health, public health and environment are active in CAHSS.

CAHSS Networks include WeCAHN, CEZD and PDS.

About WeCAHN - Western Canadian Animal Health Network

WeCAHN is a "network of networks" WeCAHN is composed of species-specific networks, each performing surveillance and intelligence-gathering in their respective sectors. The core activity of each species network is the quarterly meeting of experts, discussing animal health data and events of the preceding three months. The experts consist of veterinary practitioners, laboratory scientists, epidemiologists, researchers, and industry representatives. All contribute data to the discussion, identifying disease trends and sharing best practices.

About CEZD - Community for Emerging and Zoonotic Diseases

The Community for Emerging and Zoonotic Diseases (CEZD) is a Canadian virtual multidisciplinary network that includes partners from provincial, federal and municipal governments, industry, and academia in areas of public, animal and environmental health.

Through the gathering of information, analysis, and the generation and distribution of timely intelligence reports, Canada is now better able to anticipate, manage, and mitigate pending disease threats on its society, economy, environment, and animal resources.

About PDS - Prairie Diagnostic Services Inc. 

Prairie Diagnostic Services Inc. (PDS) is a non-profit corporation created by a partnership of the Province of Saskatchewan and the University of Saskatchewan. PDS is dedicated to providing veterinary diagnostic services and is accredited by the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians (AAVLD) and the Standards Council of Canada to ISO/IEC 17025 standard.
PDS is located at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) in Saskatoon with laboratories integrated directly into the College. The laboratory provides a full range of diagnostic services including necropsy, surgical pathology, clinical pathology, histology, bacteriology, immunology, molecular diagnostics, virology, and toxicology. A contract lab at WCVM provides endocrinology services.

Business Challenge

The Canadian Animal Health Surveillance System (CAHSS) is part of a larger organization and an initiative of the National Farmed Animal Health and Welfare Council (NFAHWC). Their goal is to collaboratively support animal agricultural stakeholders and Canadian government bodies. It was designed to fill the need for strengthened animal health surveillance in Canada as its mission is stated as ‘A shared national vision leading to effective, responsive, integrated animal health surveillance in Canada’.

There are currently 10 CAHSS networks, organized around farmed animal species, geographic regions and animal health and food safety priorities with the possibility of expanding to 20 networks. With a myriad of digital properties and systems CAHSS was looking to implement a singular CAHSS digital platform that would meet its needs and be able to grow with their organization for the next 5-10 years. 

CAHSS required a solution and implementation partner that had the experience and access to technology that could meet their mandate while still being highly scalable, secure and cost-effective to operate. With that, key features required to meet their vision was as follows:

  • Secure 
  • API 
  • Mobile optimized 
  • Multi-tenant 
  • Role-based, with personalization support
  • Multi-language
  • Integrable with leading visualization tools such as PowerBI with support for R-Scripting 

flexible and intuitive platform

thoughtful information architecture

responsive and accessible

Transformative Vision

The Canadian Animal Health Surveillance System chose Enginess as their implementation partner to lead their efforts in building their digital platform to forge an advanced ecosystem within their network to support their mission to improve animal health outcomes, increase the response to emerging diseases, increase awareness around consumer and public health confidence, and support continued market access. 

As part of their evaluation, CAHSS chose Advantage CSP to power its digital platform, data and visualization tools for its growing network. Advantage CSP was a natural choice as it was built for its inherent strength to support multi-tenant, multi-site architecture and as a foundation to build complex business applications and tools that CAHSS’ network of scientists, researchers and professionals would rely on.

Advantage CSP is a business-centric, multi-experience platform that empowers organizations to build products faster and manage their data, all within a single platform.

Deliverables and Outcomes CAHSS plays a vital role in Canada's animal surveillance and health, and timely sharing, analysis and review of data across its network are integral in keeping Canada's food supply secure and safe.

First, Enginess was tasked to establish a foundational digital platform for CAHSS and its network affiliates. In this manner, Enginess built CAHSS's main website ( along with regional networks Western Canadian Animal Health Network, Community for Emerging and Zoonotic Diseases (CEZD) and Prairie Diagnostic Services Inc. (PDS). Furthermore, using Advantage CSP's Portal capabilities, deployed two portals, one for CAHSS and a secondary branded experience for Wechan, facilitating access and the ability to share data and resources across their entire network of users..

Next, Enginess helped provision a  suite of data visualization and business intelligence tools, leveraging Power BI, where the purpose of such tools was to, amongst other things, virtually represent data interactively and perceptibly to scientists, researchers, and staff. 

Lastly, Enginess also built a Searchable Library that enabled CAHSS' members to search metadata or full texts of documents, content catalogues, podcasts, rich-media, links, and people. The Library also included intuitive features and personalization, allowing members to view recent activity and view suggested content. 

Business Impact Summary Given the importance CAHSS and its network of affiliates play in the Canadian market's crucial food safety and animal welfare, this digital transformation project was integral in securing their mission to lead an effective, responsive, and integrated animal health surveillance in Canada.

By providing CAHSS with new intelligence tools, we enabled CAHSS to reshape the potential value that analytics and insights can provide, with visualization playing a pivotal role. 

CAHSS members found value in the robust data visualization, allowing every member an easy and accessible understanding of complex information in digestible and easy-to-understand reporting.