Risk of Foreign Animal Disease Entering N America

by 5m Editor
14 March 2011, at 10:37am

CANADA - The chair of the Canadian Swine Health Board says the rise in international people travel and increased international trade in goods has raised the risk of a foreign animal disease entering Canada, Bruce Cochrane writes.

The first in a series of Swine Health Awareness Bulletins designed to keep the pork industry informed of emerging or potential health threats deals with swine vesicular diseases several of which produce symptoms similar to foot and mouth disease, including fluid-filled blisters in the mouth and on the snout, feet and teats of recently farrowed sows.

Canadian Swine Health Board chair Florian Possberg says the key to minimising the impact of a foot and mouth outbreak is early detection and control.

Florian Possberg-Canadian Swine Health Board

We think there is more conduits fro the disease to get to North America than existed years ago.

We have human traffic and foot and mouth disease can be carried on people, it can be carried in things like sausages and meats and that sort of thing.

Because we have such an increase in international travel, human traffic means that we have more opportunities for foot and mouth disease to reach North America.

We also know that the number of containers that come from Asia for example, we're talking about millions of containers that reach North America annually and these are from areas where foot and mouth disease is not really all that uncommon.

There are ways that it can get to North America either by people or by trade in goods that trade internationally so we do need to be aware.

Mr Possberg says when it is found foot and mouth disease causes huge disruptions in trade but, if you can get early detection and quarantine affected areas to prevent its spread, a potentially huge problem can be made much more manageable.

The bulletin is being distributed to industry stakeholders and being made available through the Canadian Swine Health Board web site.

5m Editor