Enhancing African swine fever prevention and preparedness
August 26, 2022 – Quebec City, Quebec – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC)
The Government of Canada is investing up to $45.3 million to prevent and prepare for African swine fever (ASF).
The Canadian pork sector is a major economic driver that contributes over 100,000 direct and indirect jobs, and generates $24 billion for the Canadian economy. A single case of ASF in Canada would result in Canada ceasing its pork and live hog exports.
This would be devastating for the export-orientated pork industry. The impacts would particularly be felt in rural areas where hog farms and processing facilities sustain the community.
Agriculture and Agri-food Canada (AAFC) Industry Prevention and Preparedness Support
The Government will invest up to $23.4 million over two years with the intention to support industry-led efforts in critical areas, including:
- biosecurity assessments and improvements, including wild pig management
- industry-led economic modelling, scenario analysis, and market place assessment
- ASF-related research projects
- welfare slaughter preparedness and disposal, including plant retrofits
- evaluating high-capacity technologies for humane depopulation of surplus hogs
Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) Prevention and Preparedness
The Government will invest up to $19.8 million over three years with the intention to:
- enhance surveillance and laboratory capacity, including rapid diagnostic testing
- conduct exercises and develop response plans for different scenarios
- increase awareness, outreach, and communications to prevent the spread of ASF
- establish zoning arrangements with key trading partners
- support the development of compartments (a subpopulation of animals free from disease in one or more establishment that share a common high standard of biosecurity)
- provide facilities, knowledge, and expertise to support international partners in developing an ASF vaccine and framework for distribution
Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) Prevention
The Government will invest up to $2.1 million over three years with the intention to enhance border control activities by:
- providing training to border services officers on the policies and procedures associated with preventing the entry of foreign food and animal products
- providing advance training to enhance port of entry (POE) vigilance
- promoting compliance by increasing public awareness of ASF
The Government of Canada continues to work with domestic and international partners to maintain a high level of vigilance through actions that include:
Preventing the introduction ASF into Canada
- The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is raising awareness among travellers through social media and has already reached over 20 million people with its ASF campaign. Additional signage has been placed at airports reminding travellers of the requirement to declare all food and animal products at the border to keep foreign animal diseases, including ASF, out of Canada. Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) border services officers have been provided with guidance on applying the penalty of $1,300 to travellers who fail to declare pork or pork products or any other meat when entering the country.
- The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) redirected current detector dog capacity to key international airports to better focus on passengers and goods coming from high-risk areas. The Government of Canada also provided new funding of up to $31 million to increase the number of detector dogs at Canadian airports.
- The CFIA implemented additional import control measures to prevent infected plant-based feed ingredients from ASF-affected countries from entering Canada.
- The CFIA closely monitors the international situation continuously to ensure the CBSA has the right border controls in place.
- The CFIA is collaborating with Canada's pork industry, industry associations and provinces to generate awareness and help maintain a high level of vigilance and standards on pig farms across the country.
- Canada's African swine fever Executive Management Board (ASF EMB) brings together federal, provincial, and territorial (FPT) governments and industry representatives to provide guidance and prioritize activities to implement the Pan-Canadian ASF Action Plan, to enhance prevention and preparedness efforts in Canada.
- The CFIA worked with provincial partners and provincial organizations so that more laboratories can test for ASF, including collaboration with the University of Saskatchewan's Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization-International Vaccine Centre (VIDO-InterVac) aimed at developing and testing vaccines and antivirals for ASF.
- The CFIA is engaging international partners on approaches to zoning, so that trade disruptions can be minimized, should ASF enter Canada. The CFIA has already confirmed zoning arrangements with the United States, European Union, Singapore, and Vietnam.
- It is also collaborating internationally to further scientific understanding of the disease, engaging with international bodies and European and Asian governments to learn from their experiences, and supporting international efforts through the Global Framework for the Progressive Control of Transboundary Animal Diseases. Canada also hosted the 2019 International Forum on ASF, hosting 150 delegates from 15 countries.
- The CFIA is also working closely with North American partners and counterparts to harmonize testing protocols, share intelligence and take collective action from a pan-North American perspective. This includes participating in joint exercises on ASF with American and industry partners.
Office of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
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