The Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the European Commission’s Department of Health and Food Safety have agreed to an African swine fever zoning arrangement to allow for safe trade of swine products from disease-free zones in the event of an ASF outbreak. The announcement last week is part of the Canadian government’s continued actions to protect Canadian pigs and the economy in light of the pace at which ASF is spreading through parts of Asia and Europe. Benefiting Canadian farmers and producers, the arrangement should allow for continued trade of pork and pork byproducts from ASF-free zones.
“Through continued international collaboration, the government of Canada is taking a leadership role in preventing and mitigating the potential impact of ASF, should it be introduced to Canada,” says Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. “Following the recently announced Canada/U.S. zoning arrangement, we have now reached a similar arrangement with the EU so that our farmers can continue to earn their livelihoods from the trade of pork and pork products in case ASF is found in Canada.”
Zoning is an internationally recognized tool used to help manage animal diseases and facilitate international trade. If a positive case of ASF is confirmed in an area, geographic boundaries are defined to contain the outbreak. These geographic boundaries are control zones established in accordance with World Organisation for Animal Health principles. The areas outside of these control zones are disease-free zones.
While there are zoning principles already in place with the EU that apply to ASF under the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, the arrangement is an additional step forward in international collaboration in mitigating the risk of ASF while maintaining safe trade.
“Canada and EU will continue to share expertise to prevent and control the spread of African swine fever,” says Jaspinder Komal, chief veterinary officer for Canada. “This arrangement is testament to our continued cooperation with international partners and our commitment to mitigating the potential impacts of ASF on Canada’s economy.”