Monday, August 29, 2022

Feds offer $45.3 for African Swine Fever planning

 Federal Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau announced up to $45.3 million will be spent to enhance efforts to prevent African swine fever and prepare for a potential outbreak.


This funding is intended to support critical priorities for preparedness, such as biosecurity assessments, coordination for wild boar management, retrofit of existing abattoirs, sector analysis and research projects. 

Program details are being developed and the program will be launched as soon as possible, she said.

The Canadian Food Inspection will also get an additional boost - up to $19.8 million to support work such as further enhancing laboratory capacity, establishing zoning arrangements with additional trading partners and contributing to international efforts to develop a safe and effective vaccine.

"We must continue to work as a team - federal, provincial and territorial governments together with industry, to prevent African swine fever from entering the country," Bibeau said. "Strengthening the measures already in place is essential to protecting the hog sector and the vitality of rural communities."

Rick Bergman, chairman of the Canadian Pork Council, said "this announcement is significant and purposeful for Canadian pork producers. 

We welcome the government's investment towards keeping ASF out of our country and of our farms. We have seen the negative impact of ASF in other parts of the world which demonstrates the need for this collaboration between government and our sector."

Chris White, president and chief executive officer of the Canadian Meat Council, said "ASF is one of the biggest threats to the Canadian hog sector. More than 70 per cent of our pork is exported, making Canada the third-largest pork exporting country in the world.

 "Prevention is key to avoid the entry of ASF, but preparedness will allow the pork industry to reduce the impact of the disease for a quicker recovery. This funding will provide industry and government with further resources to continue the development of the ASF Canadian action plan and be prepared for a potential outbreak."