More Needed to Guard Canada Against ASF

Farmscape for November 3, 2020

Full Interview 11:08 Listen

The Veterinary Counsel with the Canadian Pork Council says a lot of great work has been done in Canada to reduce risk of exposure to foreign animal disease but we still have a lot left to do. The global spread of African Swine Fever continues to increase the risk of exposure to commercial swine herds in North America. Dr. Egan Brockhoff, the Veterinary Counsel with the Canadian Pork Council and a member of the Swine Innovation Porc Coordinated African Swine Fever Research Working Group, says both industry and government are working extremely close on this.

Clip-Dr. Egan Brockhoff-Canadian Pork Council:
Industry is in the process of putting together a new biosecurity standard for pork producers that are on the Canadian Quality Assurance Program. We’re building tools and helping with education for small holder producers to help them become aware of biosecurity and how they can keep disease out. The Government of Canada continues to work on zoning agreements with some of our key trading partners.
The Canadian Pork Council and the CFIA are working on a compartmentalization program that would allow us to do peacetime surveillance and monitoring for the disease and then, in the event of a foreign animal disease like African Swine Fever, we would be able to maintain trade because the compartment would remain intact and free of disease. A lot of work is going on with planning and preparedness for these diseases, response and recovery in the face of the disease and ensuring business continuity for farms, farm families and the entire sector.

Dr. Brockhoff acknowledges we’re not adequately resourced across Canada to deal with the 95 percent of healthy pigs that would no longer have a market in the event of African Swine Fever and that is a big concern. He says more needs to be done to address the wild pig situation in Canada and we’ve got lots of work to help small scale producers with animal health, understanding biosecurity and minimising the risk of disease and disease transmission.

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