CANADA - The manager of producer services with the Saskatchewan Pork Development Board says investments in biosecurity have paid huge dividends, writes Bruce Cochrane.
Under the Saskatchewan Swine Transport Biosecurity Program any Saskatchewan pork producer enrolled in the Canadian Quality Assurance Programme is eligible to receive up to C$300 to help offset the cost of a veterinary visit to the farm, and up to C$700 to have truck inspections done by a veterinarian or approved inspector.
Harvey Wagner, the manager of producer services with Sask Pork says applications for work performed between August 1, 2014 and July 31, 2015 are being accepted until August 5.
Harvey Wagner-Saskatchewan Pork Development Board:
In this situation we're talking about a biosecurity related veterinary visit and auditing of trucks.
The veterinary visit has been really, really useful.
It certainly helps make sure that a veterinarian comes to the farm and actually talks about biosecurity when they're at the farm.
I think that's been a huge benefit for our producers over the last three years and continues to be.
There's just a profound change in how producers view biosecurity when they go through it and they look at it over a period of time and say, yea OK, we're doing this now, let's work to that, and the next year they say, yea, we've done that, let's work to the next step.
It's just a gradual process of improving biosecurity so it's been quite remarkable.
Mr Wagner says the next phase is to get producers trained in knowing what a high level of biosecurity looks like in our transport vehicles which has been a bit of a weak link.
He says the huge distances between farms in western Canada is an advantage so the only way you're going to bring disease into a farm is animals, on the back of a truck or on clothing and footwear so if you pay attention to those details you can eliminate it.
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