New Initiative Focuses on Early ASF Detection

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Farmscape for September 8, 2020

Full Interview 15:08 Listen

A new foreign animal disease surveillance effort will help speed up the detection of African Swine Fever should it arrive in Canada.
CanSpotASF is part of a suite of activities on African Swine Fever preparedness under the ASF Executive Management Board. Canada West Swine Health Intelligence Network Manager Dr. Jette Christensen explains CanSpotASF is a broad collaboration involving the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the Canadian Pork Council and the Canadian Meat Council and stakeholders include the provinces, the pork boards, the laboratories and the Canada Swine Health Intelligence Network, the umbrella for all of the regional networks in Canada.

Clip-Dr. Jette Christensen-Canada West Swine Health Intelligence Network:
We have a specific goal in CanSpotASF. It represents enhanced surveillance to protect the swine sector from the impacts of ASF.
It is made up of several surveillance tools that can be phased in as we go along and the first tool has been launched here in the third quarter as a pilot project. We will it for about a year and then evaluate and see how we can improve on that specific tool.
This tool has a long complicated name which is “Risk Based Early Detection Testing at Approved Laboratories.” In short that is really rule out testing at laboratories that are approved to test for ASF. What we want to do with this is to improve the early detection and, that way, help to minimise the impact of ASF should it ever occur in Canada.

Dr. Christensen says early detection of African Swine Fever will help speed up containment. She notes information on CanSpotASF cam be accessed through the National Farmed Animal Health and Welfare Council web site.

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