COLOMBIA - The Colombian Agricultural Institute, ICA, has reopened the country's borders for the import of breeding pigs from the United States and Canada, which was restricted due to outbreaks of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea (PED).
The reopening of the market for pork imports from these two countries came after negotiations adequate assurancesthat imported animals pose no health risks to the pigs of Colombia.
ICA General Manager, Luis Humberto Martinez Lacouture, confirmed that the Institute has established a new health declaration that imported pigs come from farms where there have been no cases of PED in the previous six months and that, during the quarantine period at the place of origin, the animals were subjected to a RT-PCR test for the disease with negative results.
In addition, it was agreed with the Government of Canada that the diagnostic tests performed on animals during their quarantine are undertaken only in laboratories certified under ISO 17025 by the Standards Council of Canada accredited by the Bureau of Food Inspection Canada (CFIA).
Information on the new health import requirements have been updated in the Health Information System for Import and Export of Agricultural and Animal Products (SISPAP) which can be viewed online on the web site of the Institute, www.ica.gov.co.
Mr Martinez Lacouture explained that it is important from Colombia's farmers to be able to import animals of high genetic value to allow pork producers in the country to improve the quality of the animals on their farms and make their production more efficient.
According to ICA, in 2011, 66 pigs were imported from the United States worth US$130.508; in 2012, 41 animals worth $40,985 and in 2013, 331 Canadian and 32 US pigs were imported into Colombia with a total value of $386,595.
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