October 26, 2021

 

Canada invests into new initiatives to prevent and prepare against ASF

 

 

The governments of Canada and Ontario are investing nearly $3 million in new initiatives to enhance biosecurity and support the provincial pork sector's African swine fever (ASF) prevention and emergency preparedness effort.

 

On November 5, a new targeted intake under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership will provide funding to Ontario pork producers, processors and other agri-businesses to support their training, education and planning, as well as for supply and infrastructure investments and modifications needed to strengthen swine-related operations, support industry businesses and protect the herds and livelihoods of Ontario pork producers, according to a release from Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

 

"We know how hard Ontario pork producers work to keep such high standards for safety," said Marie-Claude Bibeau, Federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-food, in a release. "In the wake of growing concerns since African swine fever has been detected in the Caribbean, this funding will support new measures that protect the prosperity and resiliency of the entire sector."

 

The initiatives will provide cost-share funding for eligible expenses that will support biosecurity improvements and emergency preparedness planning for the sector. This intake provides higher cost share at 50% than other intakes under the partnership because of the critical and urgent nature of this work, the release said.

 

Additionally, funding will be allocated under the partnership for an education outreach and awareness campaign for small holder farms, or farms that market fewer than 1,000 hogs or 50 sows per year. The campaign will work to increase small hog producers' awareness of the risks of ASF and the need for strong biosecurity and emergency preparedness measures.

 

Targeted financial support will also support the province's producers of Eurasian wild boar (EWB) transition out of the production of these animals.

 

"Farm escapes of Eurasian wild boar amplify the population of wild pigs, which have already caused widespread problems in Canada's prairie provinces and many American states – these wild pigs can damage crops and the natural environment and could transmit ASF to pork operations in Ontario," the release said.

 

To assist these farmers and encourage faster transition, producers who agree to stop raising them within six months will be eligible for funding to shift to other forms of production such as heritage breeds of swine, other livestock or crop production.

 

The three initiatives support the Ontario government's priorities to make Ontario's agriculture and agri-food sector more competitive, and to support farmers and producers from risks that are beyond their control through prevention and preparedness.

 

- Farm Journal's PORK