Canada Sends Positive Message to Trading Partners

CANADA - A veterinary advisor to the Canadian Swine Health Board says Canada's response to a foreign animal disease scare in June sends a positive message to Canada's trading partners, according to Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 28 October 2010
clock icon 3 minute read

In the early morning hours of 21 June, a suspect case of foot and mouth disease was identified at the Olymel primary processing plant in Red Deer immediately halting processing and the movement of hogs to the facility.

The incident, which generated international media attention, lasted approximately two days before it was confirmed not to be foot and mouth and the movement of hogs and operations at the plant resumed.

Dr Charles Rhodes, who reviewed the response on behalf of the Canadian Swine Health Board, told Swine Health Forum 2010 in Quebec City this was a real time event that offered an opportunity to test our system.

Dr Charles Rhodes-Canadian Swine Health Board

I think that most of our simulations that we think of and work through deal with identifying disease on a farm and then quarantining that farm and dealing with the communications and all of that.

This occurred at a busy packing plant in a significant size city with lots of people around, lots of people to observe what was happening, with a number of different producers, with trucks waiting and so it was a much different scenario than maybe we usually think about.

Overall at the end of the day our response was quite good but we certainly did identify gaps where there can be improvement.

I think hopefully we will learn from that and a year from now be well prepared.

I think that what happens is that the people that were intimately involved certainly will make improvements.

It's important that the industry across Canada also try to look at their own situation and make similar improvements.

Dr Rhodes suggests the open and transparent response sends a positive message to Canada's trading partners that we are watchful and looking for foreign animal diseases that might be of concern to them as purchasers of our pork products or our breeding stock.

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