Provincial partners and stakeholders participate in exercises
By Jonathan Martin
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and swine industry stakeholders checked another item off the list in the ongoing effort to protect the industry from African swine fever (ASF).
The groups met last Thursday to “prevent and mitigate the impact of African swine fever” in case the disease makes its way into Canada, a Monday release said.
To that end, the CFIA coordinated its Québec, New Brunswick and western Canadian offices to hold two exercises simultaneously.
In Québec, participants from the CFIA, the Ministère de l'Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l'Alimentation du Québec (MAPAQ) and the Équipe québécoise de santé porcine (ÉQSP) worked remotely from Gaspé, Montréal, Québec City, St-Hyacinthe and Moncton, N.B. in response to a simulated ASF outbreak on a Québec hog farm.
The drill allowed the parties to
· practice information-sharing
· manage the organizations’ initial response
· figure out the logistics of quarantining the area
· discuss the possibility of voluntary movement stoppages
The groups stopped the simulated outbreak from spreading.
The exercise’s success “confirmed the value of carrying on with preparedness activities, exploring additional training and updating response plans,” Dr. Jaspinder Komal, Canada’s chief veterinary officer, said in the release.
More than 30 representatives from both the Canadian government and the Canadian swine industry met in Winnipeg to discuss a response strategy in case ASF makes its way into Western Canada.
The talks focused on
· establishing a multi-province incident command structure (ICS)
· the logistic of culling infected herds
· monitoring the movement of pigs
· using a zoning system to coordinate the groups’ response
The western Canada group still needs to identify planning gaps and work out a joint emergency operations centre structure. It has committed to establishing its ICS and forming a steering committee with federal, provincial and industry partners.