Abrupt Implications Expected in Event of Positive ASF Diagnosis

Farmscape for September 23, 2021

Full Interview 26:44 Listen

The Chair of Swine Innovation Porc’s Science Advisory Board says the implications of a positive case of African Swine Fever in Canada will be abrupt. A Swine Innovation Porc Special Research Advisory group has identified six African Swine Fever research priorities including animal health and surveillance, biosecurity, mass euthanasia, economic impact, knowledge transfer and mental health. Dr. Andrew Van Kessel, the Associate Director Research with VIDO-InterVac and the Chair of Swine Innovation Porc’s Science Advisory Board, says African Swine Fever has to come to top of mind even in the face of COVID 19.

Clip-Dr. Andrew Van Kessel-VIDO-InterVac:
Reality is African Swine Fever has been here for a long time but most recently it’s seen a considerable spread of the disease, particularly into China and other Asian Countries and encroaching into western Europe. These are major trading partners with Canada and, as we see the transport of goods and in terms of people, the opportunity to spread that disease to North America and to Canada has increased dramatically. It’s certainly a devastating disease from its impact on swine health. It’s pretty much nearly a 100 percent fatal disease but, as importantly or more importantly perhaps to Canada, this is a disease that we must report to the World Organization for Animal Health, OIE, and that means it gets reported to our trading partners and typically results in the closure of access to international markets for Canadian pork and, given that two of every three hogs are exported from Canada the impact can be devastating for the Canadian hog industry.

Dr. Van Kessel says we could have a positive case tomorrow or never, but we do know, if it happens, the implications will be abrupt so we need to ready so time is of the essence.

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