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Canada allocates funding to prevent ASF outbreaks

The country’s government said it is investing in the protection of its rural communities and the Canadian pork sector.

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Over CA$9.6 million (US$70.8 million) is being invested to help the Canadian pork industry prevent and prepare for a possible African swine fever (ASF) outbreak.

While Canada has not had a ASF outbreak to date, the disease poses a risk to the health of the country’s swine and pork sectors, as well as the economy, explained the Canadian government.

The CA$9,645,586 investment will fund 29 ASF Industry Preparedness Program (ASFIPP) projects in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island (PEI). 

Specifically, the ASFIPP has 5 priority areas for projects:

  • Biosecurity assessment and improvements including wild pig management
  • Sector analysis, communication and engagement
  • African swine fever-related research projects
  • Processor retrofits
  • Regional preparation for welfare slaughter and disposal of surplus healthy hogs

The project gaining the most funding at just over CA$1.1 million is being conducted by the Alberta Pork Producer Development Corporation and aims to implement new approaches to producer education on ASF, biosecurity practices, eradication of wild boars, biocontainment and on-farm response training for field staff in industry.

Another project gaining a significant amount of the funding at $959,530 is being conducted by the PEI Hog Commodity Marketing Board and will focus on developing a new animal depopulation technology that can be applied to multiple species and be scaled to commercial sized herds.

Canada’s Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Francis Drouin, stated: "To be successful in countering foreign animal diseases, cooperation between the federal, provincial, and territorial governments, and industry is crucial. This program not only supports our pork industry’s commitment to prevention and preparation efforts against ASF, it also supports efforts to prevent and prepare for other potential foreign animal diseases.”

René Roy, Chair of the Canadian Pork Council, added: “This crucial and innovative initiative, part of AAFC's broader efforts to enhance biosecurity and disease management in Canadian agriculture, reflects a shared commitment to safeguarding our pork industry's resilience and sustainability through embracing new ideas and an industry-wide approach.”

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