August 7, 2023
Canada invests about US$747,000 to strengthen pork industry against African swine fever threat
The Government of Canada has announced a significant investment of CAD 944,340 (~US$706,000; CAD 1 = US$0.75) in the Manitoba Pork Council through the African Swine Fever Industry Preparedness Programme (ASFIPP), aimed at enhancing Canada's pork industry's readiness to combat the potential entry of African swine fever (ASF) into the country, Benzinga reported.
Through this investment, the Manitoba Pork Council will embark on a series of strategic projects intended to intensify efforts to manage wild swine populations in the province, formulate a comprehensive response plan encompassing animal welfare, disease management, and sector recovery, and promote the adoption of optimal management practices to enhance biosecurity measures through targeted public awareness initiatives.
ASF is a contagious and highly fatal viral disease affecting both domestic and wild swine. It's important to note that ASF does not pose a threat to human health and cannot be transmitted from swine to humans. ASF does not pose any food safety concerns. Despite its significant impact in regions of Asia, Europe, and even the Caribbean since 2018, ASF has not been detected in Canada or the US.
In the face of this potential threat, the Canadian government is taking the matter seriously by making strategic investments like this one to reinforce mitigation and preparedness measures. This proactive approach aims to safeguard the pork industry and ensure the well-being of rural communities that depend on it.
Lawrence MacAulay, Canada's Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, said that the collaboration between federal, provincial, and territorial governments as well as industry stakeholders is crucial for prioritising prevention and preparedness actions to combat the devastating impact of this animal disease.
Acknowledging the significant risk that ASF poses to Manitoba's hog sector, Rick Prejet, chairman of Manitoba Pork, commended the federal government's financial support for producers and the sector. He also highlighted the ongoing partnership between the government and stakeholders to optimize preparedness efforts.
The ASFIPP, launched in 2022 with a funding allocation of CAD 23.4 million (~US$17.4 million), is specifically tailored to enhance Canada's pork industry's capacity to handle the potential introduction of ASF. The programme supports a variety of initiatives, ranging from biosecurity assessments and improvements to wild swine management, abattoir renovations, sector analysis, and ASF-related research projects.