New milestone reached in the protection of Canadian pigs and pork industry against African swine fever
October 30th, 2023 – Ottawa, Ontario
While Canada is free of African swine fever (ASF) and has never had a reported case of this devastating disease, prevention and preparation for its potential introduction into Canada is necessary for protecting Canadian pigs and the pork industry.
Today, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) announced an important milestone in its approach to protect the trade of live pigs, pork and pork products in the event of an outbreak in Canada. In support of the Canadian ASF Compartment Program and following a consultation done in 2022, the CFIA released National Standards and a National Framework to guide industry in the next steps towards implementing the program.
ASF compartments are the creation of distinct sub-populations of pigs that follow common biosecurity management, surveillance and traceability measures (as described in the standards and framework). These compartments are established prior to an outbreak and are intended to allow for the export of products even if they were to originate from within an infected zone.
The Canadian ASF Compartment Program comprises three key components: National Standards, National Framework, and the Compartment Operator Program. The Government of Canada is responsible for the Standards and Framework for ASF compartments in Canada, which will guide the Canadian Pork Council in developing the Compartment Operator Program. Compartments will be developed and managed by industry with approval and oversight by the CFIA.
The Canadian ASF Compartment Program, is one of the many tools and efforts by federal and provincial governments, international partners and the pork industry to mitigate the risk of ASF in Canada.
"The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is taking every precaution to protect swine herds and the pork industry from African swine fever. The Canadian ASF Compartment Program underscores our commitment to proactive biosecurity and disease management and strengthens Canada's position as a global leader in swine health."
– Dr. Harpreet S. Kochhar, President
Canadian Food Inspection Agency
"The Canadian pork industry is unwavering in its dedication to the health of our swine herds and the prosperity of our industry. The Canadian ASF Compartment Program offers a robust tool to manage ASF risks, ensuring our continued success in the global market."
– René Roy, Chair
Canadian Pork Council
African swine fever (ASF) is a viral disease that cannot be transmitted to humans but poses a significant risk to swine herds, the pork industry, and the national economy.
Canada is the world's third-largest pork exporting country, contributing approximately 14% to the global pork trade. In 2022, Canadian pork exports totaled 1.4 million tonnes, valued at $4.8 billion, reaching 77 countries and accounting for 70% of Canadian pork production.
Compartmentalization is internationally recognized by the World Organisation for Animal Health as an approach to animal disease prevention and control.
Compartments must be approved and accepted by trading partners before an outbreak occurs so that trade remains intact even if ASF is detected in Canada.
Zoning and compartmentalization are internationally recognized disease management tools to facilitate trade. Zoning defines geographic boundaries during an active outbreak to establish infected zones and disease-free areas.
Canada has zoning arrangements accepted by United States, the European Union, Singapore, Hong Kong and Vietnam to enable the safe trade of pork and products in the event of an outbreak.
Canadian Food Inspection Agency
About the Canadian Food Inspection Agency
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) touches the lives of all Canadians in so many positive ways. Every day, hard-working CFIA employees – including inspectors, veterinarians and scientists – inspect food for safety risks, work to protect plants from pests and invasive species, and respond to animal diseases that could threaten Canada's animal resource base and human health. Guided by science-based decision-making and modern regulations, the Agency works tirelessly to promote access to and verify safe food in Canada and to support access to international markets for our high-quality agricultural products. To learn more, visit inspection.canada.ca.
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