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CFIA Policy Change Jeopardises Canadian Biosecurity

29 April 2016, at 12:00am

CANADA - An Alberta based swine veterinarian says requiring Canadian swine transport vehicles to be washed in the United States will dramatically increase the risk of bringing disease back into Canada, writes Bruce Cochrane.

Effective Monday the Canadian Food Inspection Agency will lift an emergency transportation protocol in place since February 2014 which allowed swine transport vehicles returning from the US to be washed and disinfected in Canada and require them to be cleaned in the US.

Dr Egan Brockhoff, with Prairie Swine Health Services in Red Deer says we know US wash facilities are contaminated with PED and other viruses.

Dr Egan Brockhoff-Prairie Swine Health Services:

Western Canada has remarkable infrastructure around transport biosecurity.

We've got a great training system, we've got great truck washes that understand swine biosecurity and take it very serious so we've got great physical infrastructure in terms of access to western Canadian truck washes.

We've put in a built a number of remarkable programs here in the west.

We've got a truck wash certification program to ensure our truck washes are up to standards and delivering a safe and effective wash to our transporters.

We've got a wash procedure audit, wash procedure protocol for western Canadian truck washes and so that gives a level of security that most regions don't enjoy and certainly something we want to continue to promote and work with.

The programs that we've had in place have been very effective.

If we look back on the last few years that we've had them in place, we've had very little introduction of PED virus into western Canada.

We've had a few cases in Manitoba, none in Saskatchewan, none in Alberta and none in British Columbia.

Dr Brockhoff says we've been able to eradicate the handful of PED cases we have had in western Canada and that speaks to the strength of our audit process, our training process and our infrastructure.

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