Bilateral Trade Agreements Important for Maintaining Trade During ASF

Farmscape for July 19, 2021

Full Interview 14:23 Listen

The Executive Director of the Swine Health Information Center says bilateral trade agreements that outline how nations will react in the event of African Swine Fever can help minimise the negative impacts of an outbreak. African Swine Fever is an OIE reportable disease that carries significant trade implications when it enters a region. While the movement and pathogenicity of African Swine Fever has remained unchecked in Europe, Russia and southeast and east Asia, North America remains free of the virus. Dr. Paul Sundberg, the Executive Director of the Swine Health Information Center, says a deal involving Canada and Singapore is a good example of how trade agreements reached prior to an outbreak can help improve communications and ensure everyone is on the same page if an outbreak happens.

Clip-Dr. Paul Sundberg-Swine Health Information Center:
Canada has recently worked on an agreement with Singapore to help in zoning of an ASF outbreak should it happen. Those types of bilateral agreements are important. They are important and they are difficult to set up. This is good progress for Canada. Hopefully the U.S. can follow that example but these things are important to set up prior to an ASF outbreak because then all the parties know how each other is going to act. That helps communication, that helps response, that helps recovery and that helps ensure that everybody knows how everybody else will act in the event of an infection. Those types of things continue. For USDA, we down here are continuing with talking to other counties and trying to set those types of agreements up, with Canada and Singapore providing a good example of how that can work. That’s progress and hopefully we can all learn from that.

Dr. Sundberg says we want to be ready to respond and recover in the event of an outbreak but prevention should remain the number one goal.
He says we don’t want this virus in North America so we have to be diligent about biosecurity every day.

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