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Canada launches ASF prevention, preparedness program

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Funding to support projects such as biosecurity improvements, wild pig management, the retrofit of existing abattoirs and African swine fever research projects.

Eligible organizations can now apply for funding under the Government of Canada's African Swine Fever Industry Preparedness Program. The $23.4 million program is designed to help Canada's pork industry prepare for the possibility of African swine fever entering the country.

On Aug. 26, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, announced an investment of up to $45.3 million to enhance efforts to prevent ASF. The funding will support projects such as biosecurity assessments and improvements, wild pig management, the retrofit of existing abattoirs, sector analysis and ASF-related research projects.

Applications from academic institutions, associations, businesses, Indigenous groups and provincial/territorial/municipal governments will be accepted until Nov. 30, 2023, and the funding will be distributed over two years. Program information and details on how to apply can be found on AAFC's website: Agricultural programs and services.

ASF is a fatal swine disease that spreads through both direct and indirect contact with infected pigs, pork and pork by-products. No case has ever been found in Canada. Since 2018, however, ASF has spread across parts of Asia, Europe and the Caribbean. The ASF virus cannot be transmitted to humans, and is not a food safety risk. But a single case of ASF in Canada would immediately result in the closure of Canada's borders to pork exports, which accounts for 70% of Canadian pork production.

Canada is recognized as an international leader when it comes to preventing and controlling the spread of foreign animal diseases into and within the country. The World Organization for Animal Health has recognized CFIA's National Centre for Foreign Animal Disease in Winnipeg, MB as a WOAH Reference Laboratory to address ASF – one of only seven laboratories in the world with the designation. The CFIA has a network of 13 reference and research laboratories across Canada approved to perform ASF testing for surveillance purposes. 

Source: Government of Canada, which is solely responsible for the information provided, and wholly owns the information. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset. 

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