Canadian Pork Council secures funding to boost ASF readiness

May 23, 2024


The Canadian Pork Council (CPC) is set to advance its defense against African Swine Fever (ASF) through significant funding from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. 

The initiative, titled "Development of a low-cost pen-side assay for rapid detection of African Swine Fever Virus," is part of the ASF Industry Preparedness Program and focuses on creating the ASFMeter, a portable, affordable device for diagnosing ASF in swine herds directly at the farm.  

The development of this tool is a collaboration between the CPC and McMaster University, aiming to revolutionize how ASF is detected and managed. 

René Roy, chair of the Canadian Pork Council, emphasized the importance of this development: "Our focus on developing a low-cost pen-side assay aligns with our commitment to proactive and innovative solutions for the swine industry." This statement highlights the project's goal to support the Canadian swine industry by offering a practical solution for rapid ASF testing in field conditions. 

The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, also supported the initiative, stressing the critical nature of preparing and preventing ASF in Canada. "These projects are a key part of Canada’s efforts to prevent an ASF outbreak while ensuring our pork sector is ready to respond," he noted. 

The program not only addresses the immediate need for efficient ASF detection but also signifies a broader approach to enhancing biosecurity and safeguarding the future of the Canadian pork industry. The collaboration between government and academia underlines a comprehensive strategy to bolster industry resilience against diseases that threaten both swine health and agricultural economics. 

The funding for the ASFIPP by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada underscores a critical, proactive step towards enhancing biosecurity in the Canadian pork sector, fostering collaboration and innovation to tackle challenges in animal health.