Biosecurity Top of Mind Heading into 2020


Farmscape for December 30, 2019

Full Interview 8:12 Listen

The Chair of Sask Pork says heading into 2020 biosecurity remains the top priority as pork producers consider the implications of African Swine Fever in Asia and Europe and Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea in North America. On the disease front African Swine Fever abroad and Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea at home have been top of mind. Casey Smit, the Chair of the Saskatchewan Pork Development Board, says, when we look overseas at how fast African Swine Fever has moved through Asia and jumped borders and crossed water let alone its spread in the wild boar population in eastern Europe, it’s very concerning.

Clip-Casey Smit-Saskatchewan Pork Development Board:
What’s critical for us here is obviously our biosecurity, maintaining it, doing the awareness not only for our own producers but for the Canadian public and visitors to our country as well. A tremendous amount of effort has been undertaken by the Canadian government and by the Canadian Pork Council and some key voices within the animal health sector in terms of awareness. When you go overseas, do not bring any product back into this country, which is illegal in the first place. The awareness through the Canadian Border Services Agency, some of  the awareness at the airports and some of the high risk airports that have a lot of travel through Asia is important and is picking up.
That is very positive for us going forward. The other thing on the health file we have to be aware of and continue watching is the PED as it continues to hover around in southern Manitoba. Saskatchewan is very fortunate that we haven’t had a positive case yet. We had the four positive cases in Alberta earlier in the year and thankfully those were contained to those four units and were cleaned up very nicely so that’s very positive as well.

Smit says it’s all about awareness and continuing the strong biosecurity efforts we have in place for the benefit the whole industry.

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