High Health Remains Pork Industry's Main Advantage

CANADA - An independent swine industry consultant suggests the high health of Canada's swine herd remains one of its pork industry's biggest advantages when it comes to world trade, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 8 February 2010
clock icon 3 minute read

With continuing declines in domestic pork consumption, expansion of the Canadian pork industry over the past 20 years has been in support of export growth.

Ted Bilyea, with Ted Bilyea and Associates, told those on hand last week for the 2010 Manitoba Swine Seminar in Winnipeg Canada has historically done well as a result of disease issues.

Ted Bilyea-Ted Bilyea and Associates

Other countries where they have stressed the production much greater because their densities are much higher, they've had many more problems with disease.

Canada has an enviable reputation of having one of the healthiest herds in the world.

That is well known, that's one of the reasons why our breeding stock is preferred in many parts of the world.

We have had, up until this H1N1 problem, we have largely benefited by these disease issues starting way back with foot and mouth in Taiwan which really triggered that growth spurt.

That's when we had to replace the production of Taiwan which was the largest exporter to Japan.

Canada stepped in early into that and it was able to build significant exports to replace that and we went on from there with many other diseases in Europe etcetera.

It's not all bad news it's just that we need to focus now more and more on surveillance and making sure that we've got very good biosecurity, essentially we firewall the hogs.

It's not so much that hogs are the issue for us with disease as it is that people tend to bring disease to hogs.

That's the real issue and that's the one the public is beginning to understand I believe.

Mr Bilyea notes, while domestic consumption has been declining, the export market has stood up rather well and even this year, our most current year, we've had robust sales.

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