In a preemptive move to safeguard its swine population, Canada is implementing a comprehensive framework to protect against the potential threat of African swine fever (ASF), despite the absence of reported cases in the country.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has introduced National Standards and a National Framework, providing guidance to the pork industry on proactive measures. This initiative aligns with the previously announced Canadian ASF Compartment Program, which establishes subpopulations of pigs within the larger pig community. The program includes the implementation of a unified biosecurity management system, incorporating regular surveillance and traceability protocols. The aim is to fortify hog production systems against the introduction of ASF, as outlined in a recent CFIA news release.
The CFIA emphasizes the necessity of establishing and operating these compartments before the detection of an ASF outbreak to effectively support the protection goals for pork and pork products. Developed and managed by the pork industry with CFIA approval and oversight, these compartments offer increased flexibility in the movement of live pigs and pork products, even within infected zones.
Simultaneously, the World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH) has issued a cautionary advisory regarding ASF vaccine quality. While nations anticipate the development of effective ASF vaccines, WOAH underscores the importance of using only high-quality vaccines. The use of non-compliant or subpar ASF vaccines poses the risk of spreading viruses, potentially resulting in acute or chronic diseases, according to the global animal health authority.
WOAH further emphasizes that vaccine programs should be integrated as part of a comprehensive prevention and control strategy rather than being employed as standalone interventions for disease control. This approach aligns with the broader goal of ensuring the efficacy and safety of ASF vaccines within a holistic framework of disease prevention and management.