Canada invests over $9.6M to prevent, prepare for African swine fever

The Canadian pork industry exports roughly two-thirds of its pork production and millions of live hogs per year.

May 20, 2024

3 Min Read

The Government of Canada is protecting the resilience of Canada's rural communities and the Canadian pork sector by supporting prevention and preparedness measures for African swine fever.

ASF is a viral disease that only impacts pigs. While it has not been found in Canada to date, as it spreads around the globe, it poses a significant risk to the health of the Canadian swine herd, the pork industry, and the Canadian economy.

Last week Francis Drouin, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, announced an investment of up to $9,645,586 to fund 29 African Swine Fever Industry Preparedness Program projects in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.

"To be successful in countering foreign animal diseases, cooperation between the federal, provincial, and territorial governments, and industry is crucial. This program not only supports our pork industry’s commitment to prevention and preparation efforts against African swine fever, it also supports efforts to prevent and prepare for other potential foreign animal diseases," said Drouin.

“Animal diseases, including African swine fever, are a serious threat to Canada’s pork sector, and it’s vitally important that all orders of government and industry take steps to prevent and prepare. These projects are a key part of Canada’s efforts to prevent an ASF outbreak while ensuring our pork sector is ready to respond," said Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.

This investment will fund ASF research, improved biosecurity measures, wild pig management activities, retrofits of existing abattoirs, regional preparation for the welfare depopulation and disposal of healthy hogs, and sector analysis, engagement and education tools, and will help ensure the sector is prepared should a case be detected.

“The Canadian Pork Council has been thrilled to work with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada as it delivers on its commitment to industry preparedness through the African Swine Fever Industry Preparedness Program. This crucial and innovative initiative, part of AAFC's broader efforts to enhance biosecurity and disease management in Canadian agriculture, reflects a shared commitment to safeguarding our pork industry's resilience and sustainability through embracing new ideas and an industry-wide approach. This initiative, and its proactive approach, underscores our commitment to invest in advanced technologies, rigorous training, and collaborative partnerships to fortify our defenses against African Swine Fever and other potential threats. This strategic focus not only protects our swine producers and their livelihoods but also upholds Canada's reputation as a reliable supplier of safe and high-quality pork products globally," said René Roy, chair of the Canadian Pork Council

“We would like to thank the Canadian government for its participation in the efforts to prevent African swine fever. This is a sword of Damocles dangling over the heads of every member of our industry. Les Éleveurs de Porcs is a long-standing, leading partner in this effort, and has been very proactive in advancing the work to ensure that we are ready to manage and limit the damage to farmers caused by such a crisis. This financial assistance is essential, as are compartmentalization and zoning agreements with countries with which we trade pork and pork products," said Louis-Philippe Roy, president of the Éleveurs de porcs du Québec and the Équipe québécoise de santé porcine

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