By Bruce Cochrane
The chair of the Canadian Swine Health Board hopes to have options in place for the continued operation of the organization by the end of June.
Since March 2013, when a federal funding agreement ended, the Canadian Swine Health Board has been operating with limited funding.
Consultations aimed at reaching a consensus on a structure for the continued operation of the organization are now underway.
Canadian Swine Health Board chair Brian Sullivan notes coincidental with the end of that funding agreement Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea arrived in North America.
Brian Sullivan-Canadian Swine Health Board:
There was a concerted focus on preventing it from coming into Canada and being prepared for the possibility that it would arrive and what should be done if that were to happen as it eventually did.
Without the funding agreement the organization has been looking to put in place a long term sustainability option that's industry led, industry supported and so there's been effort in that direction with some success.
We've had some industry contribution and some additional government support as well that has allowed us to continue operations and to be better prepared for PED in particular.
We also have a national surveillance network that was established under the previous funding agreement with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and we've been able to maintain that surveillance system while we look at options for long term sustainability.
Sullivan says stakeholders that have been working with the Canadian Swine Health Board over the past five years and new stakeholders will need to come together to agree on a structure and identify national elements needed for the organization and to come to the table with financial support.
He hopes to have options that have widespread stakeholder support by the end of June.