December 27, 2019
Canada prepares itself for possible African swine fever outbreak
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is on alert to prevent an African swine fever (ASF) outbreak from affecting the country's 4 million CAD (~US$3.04 million, 1 CAD = US$0.76) pork export industry, reported iPolitics Canada.
Jaspinder Komal, Canada's Chief Veterinary Officer said Canada has been ASF-free thanks to precautions imposed on travellers and products entering the country.
These include restrictions to meat imports from only ASF-free countries or zones. Soybean and corn imports used as swine feed have to be processed through a special treatment to kill ASF before it is fed to swine.
The CFIA is also working closely with the Canada Border Services Agency, such as the deployment of additional detector dogs to discover illegal food and added attention to flights from ASF-infected countries.
A social media campaign is being carried out by the CFIA to warn travellers against bringing in illegal products, and airlines have been working with CFIA to make in-flight announcements regarding ASF.
A recent agricultural ministers' meeting was focused on ASF prevention. Marie-Claude Bibeau, federal Agriculture Minister said ASF prevention, preparedness and response timing in relation to the industry was reviewed.
Komal said training exercises will be conducted by the CFIA on ASF outbreak response next year, which includes creating quarantine zones.
If ASF were to be discovered in Canada, a control zone would be placed around the infected farm to restrict movement and halt the spread of the disease. Infected swine will be culled and the farmer will be compensated. To ensure containment of the disease, a second control zone will be established to maintain surveillance.
Komal added that the agency will continue to monitor the international ASF situation.
- IPolitics Canada