Minister MacAulay announces support for Animal Health Canada’s work to prevent and prepare for animal disease outbreaks

Source: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada / Canadian Food Inspection Agency

By protecting Canadian livestock through proactive prevention and preparedness measures for diseases, we’re supporting the resilience of Canada’s rural communities and the agricultural sector.

Today the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, announced an investment of up to $1,697,850 to Animal Health Canada to support their role in foreign animal disease prevention and preparedness efforts in Canada, including for African swine fever (ASF) and Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD). Animal Health Canada brings together the agriculture industry, and federal, provincial and territorial partners to provide input on a cohesive, functional and responsive farmed animal health and welfare system in Canada.

With an investment of $999,900 from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s (AAFC) African Swine Fever Industry Preparedness Program (ASFIPP), Animal Health Canada will continue its coordination role in prevention efforts while working to minimize the potential impact of an ASF outbreak on Canada’s swine industry. This includes providing the African swine fever Executive Management Board (ASF EMB) with support for the prevention and control of ASF through coordination of wild pig management activities, industry stop-movement protocols, partner roles and responsibilities, Indigenous engagement and the development of ASF resources and plans.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is providing a contribution of $697,950 to Animal Health Canada through its Federal Assistance Program (FAP) to support ongoing efforts over the next two years aimed at advancing preparedness for ASF and FMD. This funding will facilitate the analysis of surveillance data, critical training, further definition of stakeholder roles and responsibilities in responding to outbreaks, and the development of a vaccine strategy in the event of an FMD outbreak in Canada. Additionally, it will enable preparations and exercises in advance of potential ASF or FMD outbreak.

The Government of Canada takes the threat of foreign animal diseases seriously and continues to make strategic investments to bolster mitigation and preparedness efforts to protect the livestock industry and the vitality of rural communities.


“Animal diseases are an ongoing threat to Canada’s livestock producers and prevention and preparedness initiatives from all orders of government and industry are vitally important. Animal Health Canada’s coordination role with partners and stakeholders has been key to Canada’s animal disease prevention, and to ensuring our livestock sector is ready in the event of an outbreak.

– The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

“We’re pleased we are continuing our collaboration with industry and government to not only prevent and control African swine fever in Canada, but other foreign animal disease outbreaks.”

– Colleen McElwain, Executive Director of Animal Health Canada

Quick facts

  • Preventing and preparing for foreign animal diseases is a shared responsibility between federal, provincial, and territorial governments, and industry.
  • While ASF is not a threat to human health and cannot be transmitted from pigs to humans, nor is it a food safety issue, ASF is a contagious and deadly viral disease affecting both domestic and wild pigs.
  • Since 2018, ASF has spread through parts of Asia and Europe, and was detected in the Caribbean in 2021. It has never been found in Canada or the United States.
  • FMD does not pose a risk to human health or food safety, but it is a severe and contagious viral disease of cattle and swine. It also affects sheep, goats, deer and other cloven-hoofed ruminants.
  • The disease is currently present in many areas of the world. It was last reported in Canada in 1952 and Canada is considered free of FMD.
  • 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 ASF outbreak and limit its impact.
  • The ASF EMB includes membership from federal and provincial governments, and industry representatives. Chaired by Animal Health Canada, the ASF EMB is an example of unprecedented cooperation between its members to coordinate and prioritize ASF prevention and preparedness efforts.
  • The $23.4 million ASFIPP was launched in 2022 and is designed to help Canada’s pork industry prepare for the possibility of ASF entering the country. Funding for this program supports projects such as biosecurity assessments and improvements, wild pig management, the retrofit of existing abattoirs, sector analysis and ASF-related research projects. ASFIPP is still accepting applications.
  • The Canadian pork industry exports roughly two-thirds of its pork production and millions of live hogs per year. In 2023, exports were valued at $4.7 billion, not including the 6.7 million live swine exported throughout the year.
  • The FAP is the CFIA’s contribution program. It operates within the context of the broader mandate of the CFIA and provides a means for the agency to broaden its reach by supporting projects and initiatives that advance the CFIA’s core responsibility for safe food and healthy plants and animals.