Canada and European Union mitigate potential trade impacts by allowing safe trade in disease-free zones in the event of an African swine fever outbreak

News release

July 3, 2019 — Ottawa, Ontario – Canadian Food Inspection Agency

Today, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, announced that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and the European Commission’s Department of Health and Food Safety (DG SANTE) have agreed to an African swine fever (ASF) zoning arrangement to allow for safe trade of swine products from disease-free zones in the event of an ASF outbreak.

This is part of the Government of Canada’s continued actions to protect Canadian pigs and the economy in light of the pace at which ASF is spreading through parts of Asia and Europe. Benefiting Canadian farmers and producers, the arrangement should allow for continued trade of pork and pork by-products from ASF-free zones.

Zoning is an internationally recognized tool used to help manage diseases and facilitate international trade. If a positive case of ASF is confirmed in an area, geographic boundaries are defined to contain the outbreak. These geographic boundaries are control zones established in accordance with World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) principles. The areas outside of these control zones are disease-free zones.

While there are zoning principles already in place with the EU that apply to ASF under the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), the arrangement is an additional step forward in international collaboration in mitigating the risk of ASF while maintaining safe trade.

This arrangement is a key step in Canada’s ongoing efforts to safeguard Canada’s pork industry. Pork is Canada’s fourth-largest agricultural sector, contributing about $24 billion to the Canadian economy annually.


“Through continued international collaboration, the Government of Canada is taking a leadership role in preventing and mitigating the potential impact of ASF, should it be introduced to Canada. Following the recently announced Canada/US zoning arrangement, we have now reached a similar arrangement with the EU so that our farmers can continue to earn their livelihoods from the trade of pork and pork products in case ASF is found in Canada."

- The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

“Canada and EU will continue to share expertise to prevent and control the spread of African swine fever. This arrangement is testament to our continued cooperation with international partners and our commitment to mitigating the potential impacts of ASF on Canada’s economy.”

- Dr. Jaspinder Komal, Chief Veterinary Officer for Canada

Quick facts

  • Canada exported over 4.2 million dollars’ worth of pork and pork products to the EU in 2018.

  • There is no treatment or vaccine for ASF. CFIA is keeping a close eye on any research related to the treatment and control of ASF, including vaccine development, through our international collaboration.

  • There is no evidence that the ASF virus can infect humans, and it is not considered a food safety risk.

  • Canada’s pork industry supports more than 100,000 direct and indirect jobs and contributes about $24 billion annually to the Canadian economy.

  • In 2018, 1.2 million tonnes of pork, valued at $3.8 billion, were exported to 87 countries.

  • Canada is the third-largest pork exporting country in both value and volume and represents 20% of the world’s pork trade.

Associated links


Katie Hawkins
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Canadian Food Inspection Agency 
Media relations: 613-773-6600
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