Government of Canada announces up to $45.3 million to enhance African swine fever prevention and preparedness
August 26, 2022 – Quebec City, Quebec – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC)
Today, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, announced an investment of up to $45.3 million to enhance efforts to prevent African swine fever (ASF) from entering Canada and prepare for a potential outbreak. The funding will be critical in reducing the risk of introduction and spread of ASF in Canada.
ASF is a fatal swine disease that spreads through both direct and indirect contact with infected pigs, pork, and pork by-products. Preventing the spread of ASF into Canada requires a collaborative approach to protect Canada’s pork industry, while helping the industry prepare for a timely and coordinated response to limit the potential impact of an outbreak.
To help ensure high levels of vigilance in the face of the threat of African swine fever, the Government of Canada is investing up to $23.4 million to support the pork industry’s prevention and mitigation efforts. This funding is intended to support critical priorities for preparedness, such as biosecurity assessments, coordination for wild pig management, retrofit of existing abattoirs, sector analysis and ASF-related research projects. Program details are being developed and the program will be launched as soon as possible.
In addition, up to $19.8 million will be invested in the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s (CFIA) prevention and preparedness efforts. This is intended to support work such as further enhancing laboratory capacity, establish zoning arrangements with additional trading partners, and contributing to international efforts to develop a safe and effective ASF vaccine that meets the needs of Canadian farms.
Although Canada has never had a case of ASF, the disease continues to spread in several regions around the world. A single case of ASF in Canada would immediately result in the closure of Canada’s borders to pork exports, which accounts for 70% of Canadian pork production. With up to $2.1 million in funding dedicated to enhancing the Canada Border Services Agency’s (CBSA) border control activities, the Government of Canada intends to support measures that continue to prevent the entry of high-risk pork and pork products by enhancing public awareness, improving commercial targeting, and developing training for border services officers.
Canada is recognized internationally as having strong programs in place to prevent and control the spread of foreign animal diseases into and within the country. Through close collaboration with domestic and international partners, the Government will continue to take a leadership role in preventing and mitigating the potential impact of ASF, should it ever be introduced into the country.
“We must continue to work as a team - federal, provincial and territorial governments together with industry, to prevent African swine fever from entering the country. Strengthening the measures already in place is essential to protecting the hog sector and the vitality of rural communities.”
- The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
“This announcement is significant and purposeful for Canadian pork producers. We welcome the government’s investment towards keeping ASF out of our country and of our farms. We have seen the negative impact of ASF in other parts of the world which demonstrates the need for this collaboration between government and our sector.”
- Rick Bergman, Chair of the Canadian Pork Council
“ASF is one of the biggest threats to the Canadian hog sector. More than 70% of our pork is exported, making Canada the third-largest pork exporting country in the world. Prevention is key to avoid the entry of ASF, but preparedness will allow the pork industry to reduce the impact of the disease for a quicker recovery. This funding will provide industry and government with further resources to continue the development of the ASF Canadian action plan and be prepared for a potential outbreak.”
- Chris White, President and CEO, Canadian Meat Council
Preventing and preparing for ASF is a shared responsibility between federal, provincial, and territorial governments and industry. The Pan-Canadian ASF Action Plan is a collaborative plan which lays the groundwork for a timely and coordinated response to reduce the size of an outbreak and limit its impact.
The Canadian pork industry exports roughly two thirds of its pork production and millions of live hogs per year.
The CFIA has already confirmed zoning arrangements to help manage ASF and facilitate international trade with the United States, European Union, Singapore, and Vietnam.
On May 5, 2022, Minister Bibeau announced over $446,000 in Canadian Agricultural Strategic Priorities Program funding to Swine Innovation Porc, based in Quebec City, QC, to develop strategies to mitigate the impact of an African swine fever outbreak on the pork sector.
The World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) has recognized CFIA’s National Centre for Foreign Animal Disease in Winnipeg, MB as a WOAH Reference Laboratory to address ASF – one of only seven Laboratories in the world with the designation.
The CFIA has a network of 13 reference and research laboratories across Canada approved to perform ASF testing for surveillance purposes.
The CBSA is Canada’s first line of defence, and has a mandate to facilitate trade and travel while keeping Canadians safe. Border services officers are trained to intercept prohibited goods.
- African swine fever (CFIA)
- Statement: Canada, United States agree on protocol to guide bilateral trade if African swine fever is detected in wild pigs
- Statement: Canada, Mexico and U.S. plan North American strategy for African swine fever prevention and preparedness
- Statement: Canada, United States agree on application of zones to allow safe trade in the event of an African swine fever outbreak
- Singapore agrees to zoning arrangement to allow for safe trade from Canada in the event of an African swine fever outbreak
- Vietnam agrees to zoning arrangement to allow for safe trade from Canada in the event of an African swine fever outbreak
Office of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
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