Canada announces $45.3 mln in ASF prevention funding

The funds will be used to enhance biosecurity measures
calendar icon 29 August 2022
clock icon 3 minute read

On Friday, Canada's minister of agriculture Marie-Claude Bibeau announced an investment of up to $45.3 million to enhance efforts to prevent African swine fever (ASF) from entering Canada and prepare for a potential outbreak. The funding will be critical in reducing the risk of introduction and spread of ASF in Canada.

Preventing the spread of ASF into Canada requires a collaborative approach to protect Canada's pork industry, while helping the industry prepare for a timely and coordinated response to limit the potential impact of an outbreak.

To help ensure high levels of vigilance in the face of the threat of African swine fever, the government of Canada is investing up to $23.4 million to support the pork industry's prevention and mitigation efforts. This funding is intended to support critical priorities for preparedness, such as biosecurity assessments, coordination for wild pig management, retrofit of existing abattoirs, sector analysis and ASF-related research projects. Program details are being developed and the program will be launched as soon as possible.

In addition, up to $19.8 million will be invested in the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's (CFIA) prevention and preparedness efforts. This is intended to support work such as further enhancing laboratory capacity, establish zoning arrangements with additional trading partners, and contributing to international efforts to develop a safe and effective ASF vaccine that meets the needs of Canadian farms.

Although Canada has never had a case of ASF, the disease continues to spread in several regions around the world. A single case of ASF in Canadawould immediately result in the closure of Canada's borders to pork exports, which accounts for 70% of Canadian pork production. With up to $2.1 million in funding dedicated to enhancing the Canada Border Services Agency's (CBSA) border control activities, the Government of Canada intends to support measures that continue to prevent the entry of high-risk pork and pork products by enhancing public awareness, improving commercial targeting, and developing training for border services officers.

"We must continue to work as a team - federal, provincial and territorial governments together with industry, to prevent African swine fever from entering the country," said Bibeau. "Strengthening the measures already in place is essential to protecting the hog sector and the vitality of rural communities."

"This announcement is significant and purposeful for Canadian pork producers," added Rick Bergman, chair of the Canadian Pork Council. "We welcome the government's investment towards keeping ASF out of our country and of our farms. We have seen the negative impact of ASF in other parts of the world which demonstrates the need for this collaboration between government and our sector."

"ASF is one of the biggest threats to the Canadian hog sector. More than 70% of our pork is exported, making Canada the third-largest pork exporting country in the world," said Chris White, president and CEO, Canadian Meat Council. "Prevention is key to avoid the entry of ASF, but preparedness will allow the pork industry to reduce the impact of the disease for a quicker recovery. This funding will provide industry and government with further resources to continue the development of the ASF Canadian action plan and be prepared for a potential outbreak."

© 2000 - 2022 - Global Ag Media. All Rights Reserved | No part of this site may be reproduced without permission.