Manitoba Focuses on Financial Aspect in Preparations for ASF


Farmscape for February 10, 2020

Full Interview 6:36 Listen

Manitoba’s Minister of Agriculture and Resource Development says the province’s top priority in developing plans for responding to African Swine Fever is preparing to address the financial impact of the infection. Concerted global efforts are underway to contain the spread of African Swine Fever. Blaine Pedersen, Manitoba’s Minister of Agriculture and Resource Development, told those on hand last week in Winnipeg for the 2020 Manitoba Swine Seminar, stakeholders are doing their best to keep the infection out of Canada but it’s the “what if” so governments are doing all they can to prepare.

Clip-Blaine Pedersen-Manitoba Agriculture:
We’re working very closely with the federal government. We had a federal provincial territorial meeting in mid-December.
We had a great discussion with the federal government on this. The federal government is doing a good job in trying to keep it out, in terms of border security. The federal government has also been working with the provinces on mitigation. If it does happen, how do we segregate it, how do we handle that. What we’re working on right now is the financial impact because, if the industry was to shut down, it’s a half a billion dollar hit to the Manitoba economy. We have a person on the working group.
There’s a federal-provincial working group dealing with this and the province has representation there and we continue to work with both Manitoba Pork and the Canadian Pork Council on a financial mitigation plan. That’s really huge as part of this.

Pedersen notes the sector is set up on a very short turn around, for example, working with a three day feed supply. He says, while he is not prepared to go into the finer details of the mitigation plan, it will need to consider such factors as what happens with the barns, with animal welfare and with the welfare of the people working in the sector.

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