Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada launches African Swine Fever prevention and preparedness program

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Starting today, eligible organizations can apply for funding under the Government of Canada’s African Swine Fever Industry Preparedness Program (ASFIPP). The $23.4 million program is designed to help Canada’s pork industry prepare for the possibility of African swine fever (ASF) entering the country.

Funding for the new program was set aside in August 2022 to support projects such as biosecurity assessments and improvements, wild pig management, the retrofit of existing abattoirs, sector analysis and ASF-related research projects.

Applications from academic institutions, associations, businesses, Indigenous groups, and provincial/territorial/municipal governments will be accepted until November 30, 2023, and the funding will be distributed over two years. Program information and details on how to apply can be found on AAFC’s website: Agricultural programs and services.

ASF is a fatal swine disease that spreads through both direct and indirect contact with infected pigs, pork, and pork by-products. No case has ever been found in Canada. Since 2018, however, ASF has spread across parts of Asia, Europe, and the Caribbean. The ASF virus cannot be transmitted to humans, and is not a food safety risk. But a single case of ASF in Canada would immediately result in the closure of Canada’s borders to pork exports, which accounts for 70 per cent of Canadian pork production.

Canada is recognized as an international leader when it comes to preventing and controlling the spread of foreign animal diseases into and within the country. This new program, combined with close collaboration among domestic and international partners, demonstrates the federal government’s continued leadership in preventing and preparing for ASF.

Quick facts

  • On August 26, 2022, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, announced an investment of up to $45.3 million to enhance efforts to prevent ASF.
  • Preventing and preparing for ASF is a shared responsibility between federal, provincial, and territorial governments and industry. The Pan-Canadian ASF Action Plan is a collaborative plan which lays the groundwork for a timely and coordinated response to reduce the size of an outbreak and limit its impact.
  • The World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) has recognized CFIA’s National Centre for Foreign Animal Disease in Winnipeg, MB as a WOAH Reference Laboratory to address ASF – one of only seven Laboratories in the world with the designation.
  • The CFIA has a network of 13 reference and research laboratories across Canada approved to perform ASF testing for surveillance purposes.
  • The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is Canada’s first line of defence, and has a mandate to facilitate trade and travel while keeping Canadians safe. Border services officers are trained to intercept prohibited goods.