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Discussions Underway Aimed at Maintaining Health Initiatives

23 October 2012, at 10:07am

CANADA - Canada's swine producers and other pork industry stakeholders are being urged to demonstrate their support for national initiatives aimed at protecting pigs from infectious disease, writes Bruce Cochrane.

Since it's formation in March 2009, the Canadian Swine Health Board (CSHB) has facilitated research into specific disease issues, developed a national biosecurity standard for swine and provided producer training to implement the standard and created a national surveillance network to identify and track any potential disease threats.

CSHB chair Florian Possberg told those on hand last week in Winnipeg for the 2012 Canadian Swine Health Forum, discussions are now underway aimed at determining how these initiatives can be continued after the federal funding agreement ends this coming March.

Florian Possberg-Canadian Swine Health Board:

We're working on a check-off of one cent per hog for all the producers across Canada and we're pretty close to having agreement on that.

We still have some challenges there but most of our producers are aware of the activities of the Canadian Swine Health Board and support those activities.

We have also talked to support industries from processors to veterinarians and universities and other areas that depend on our industry for a lot of their activities.

Again, we've gotten support, we've gotten some commitments but those things will take awhile to get in place. The real cornerstone though will be producers actually using some of their funds to support our activities.

Mr Possberg acknowledges, the hog industry is going through very tough times so producers aren't in the mood for spending money where they didn't spend before.

However, he stresses, even during tough times you have to make strategic investments and it's important to make sure everyone understands what's at stake.

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