Canadian Government Helps Improve Swine Health Surveillance

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Source: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada news release

Canada’s hog sector, which includes over 8000 hog farms, is a key driver of the Canadian economy, accounting for $4.5 billion in farm receipts and $4 billion in pork exports in 2017.

Parliamentary Secretary Jean-Claude Poissant, on behalf of Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Lawrence MacAulay, today announced investments of over $1.5 million to support animal health and disease surveillance in the hog sector.

The Government will invest up to $1.5 million in the Canadian Pork Council (CPC) to adopt a virus detection system to support animal health. Funded under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership’s AgriAssurance Program, the virus detection system will enable the CPC to provide consistent information on the health status of the hog population across the country, track early disease warning signs, and rapidly identify new and emerging diseases in the sector before they spread.

This complements a previous investment of more than $94,000 to the University of Montréal (UdeM) to develop an advanced disease surveillance tool to enable faster threat detection across Canada. With funding under Growing Forward 2’s AgriMarketing Program (Assurance Systems stream), the surveillance model developed by the UdeM’s Diagnostic Services will enable the hog sector to better understand the frequency of diseases, emerging strains, and the movement of endemic diseases in Canada.

Quotes

“Our Government continues to help the hog sector grow and remain competitive. Canada’s pork producers are known throughout the world for producing safe, high quality products. These investments will further strengthen, and help bring stability to the sector and provide pork producers with more opportunities to sell their products abroad, helping to grow our economy and our middle class.”
– Jean-Claude Poissant, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-food

“Canadian pork producers welcome this investment in research and development from the Government of Canada in the area of swine health. This project will provide a comprehensive tests to laboratories and will help veterinarians and producers manage the Canadian hog herd. Furthermore, using the data obtained through this project to inform disease surveillance activities will greatly benefit the industry and help prepare for disease mitigation.”
– Rick Bergmann, Canadian Pork Council Chair

“The project established the base of a model for sharing and managing swine microorganism sequences in Canada. This represents a structuring, complementary and synergic basis for surveillance to understand strain emergence and movement of economically important endemic diseases in Canada.”
– Estela Cornaglia, DVM, PhD, Director of the Diagnostic Service, Faculty of Veterinary Medecine, Université de Montréal

Quick facts

• Canada is the 7th largest pork producer in the world, representing approximately 2% of global production. Canadian pork is known around the world for its premium quality, taste, safety, and commitment to following the highest standards in production.
• The Canada Pork Council is a not-for-profit national industry organization with a membership that includes nine provincial associations representing 7000 hog producers.
• The University de Montréal’s Diagnostic Service is a nationally and internationally renowned centre of excellence and diagnostic reference that contributes to the improvement of animal health care.
• The Government of Canada is helping the sector meet the goal to grow Canada’s agriculture and food exports to $75 billion by 2025 by advancing and defending international trade interests, as well as improving market development and market access activities to address emerging needs of the sector.
• The Government of Canada is committed to the protection of Canada’s agricultural resources against animal diseases such as African Swine Fever.

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