Input on Action to Prevent Swine Disease

CANADA - The Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatoon is encouraging swine producers to consider their priorities as the pork industry plans action to step up the defense again swine disease, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 6 April 2009
clock icon 3 minute read

Last week Ottawa unveiled a two year 40 million dollar initiative that will include creating national standards for biosecurity best management, research related to porcine circovirus associated diseases and other emerging diseases and establishing long-term risk management strategies.

A national conference is also being planned for July to outline strategy.

Western College of Veterinary Medicine associate professor Dr. John Harding says producers need to be thinking about what questions they want answered.

Dr. John Harding-Western College of Veterinary Medicine

Obviously 40 million dollars is a lot of money.

The two year time frame is extremely tight and, if we don't have a clear focus on what we want to accomplish with the money, then we risk it really being spent frivolously on things without long term benefit for the industry.

I think in anticipation of this meeting July where we hope that strategic priorities will determined, I think we need a good understanding of what research is being done today at the industry as well as where we truly need to focus in the future.

What we are hoping is that the 40 million does not get spent specifically on circovirus because we have it under control for the most part in the industry with the use of vaccine but we want to make sure we have a much longer term vision and that we have end points that are measurable and truly something to be proud of after the money is spent.


Dr. Harding says, whether the result of intensification or the normal evolution of pathogens, we can anticipate new novel diseases will emerge.

He believes we have to prepare for new disease threats and have researchers in place to get on top of them before they spread throughout the industry.

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