Feds invest in swine disease surveillance

Feds invest in swine disease surveillance
Dec 13, 2018

The Canadian Pork Council will receive up to $1.5 million

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

A federal investment will help Canada’s pork sector monitor and react to disease outbreaks.

The Canadian Pork Council will receive up to $1.5 million from Ottawa to “adopt a virus detection system to support animal health (and) enable the CPC to provide consistent information on the health status of the hog population across the country.”

Canada exported about $4 billion of pork in 2017 and is the world’s seventh largest pork producer. Investing in swine health is key to ensuring Canada’s hog farmers remain competitive.

“These investments will further strengthen and help bring stability to the sector and provide pork producers with more opportunities to sell their products abroad, helping to grow our economy and our middle class,” Jean-Claude Poissant, parliamentary secretary to Minister MacAulay, said in a statement today.

Poissant made the announcement on behalf of Minister MacAulay in Quebec City, Que.

Canadian swine producers welcome the government investment.

With foreign outbreaks of African Swine Fever leading to blocked imports, increased surveillance can help Canada’s industry respond to any issues, said Toby Tschetter, a swine producer from Star City, Sask., and member of the Sask Pork board of directors.

“It’s very import to support swine health,” he told Farms.com. “African Swine Fever is very contagious, and while we haven’t had any instances of it in Canada, the industry needs to be ready to act at the first sign of a potential outbreak. Consistent monitoring of other swine diseased like PEDv is also important for a healthy industry.”

The $1.5 million investment complements a previous $94,000 commitment to the University of Montreal to develop an advanced disease surveillance tool.

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