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African Swine Fever Confirmed In Dominican Republic

News that pigs in the Dominican Republic tested positive for African swine fever (ASF) is raising alarm bells for Canadian pork producers.

ASF has been spreading throughout pork-producing countries in Europe and Asia and has reached the western hemisphere for the first time in 40 years.

Although ASF poses no risk to humans or other animals, an outbreak of ASF in Canada could devastate the Canadian pig herd. A single, positive case could result in the immediate suspension of pork and pig exports valued at over $5 billion in 2020.

The Canadian Pork Council’s Chair, Rick Bergmann was pleased by the quick decision by Canada Border Services Agency to add Dominican Republic to the list of countries that border officers are screening for ASF risks. This change builds on measures taken in 2019 to increase the number of detector dog teams, enhance public communications about the risks associated with illegal meat imports and control imports of unprocessed grain and oilseeds from ASF infected countries.

"While much progress has been made, there remain opportunities to eradicate wild pigs, enhance biosecurity and develop the response policies and programs that will be needed should there ever be a Canadian outbreak. We look forward to collaborating with the Canadian government to further strengthen our capacity to maintain the health of our Canadian pig herd and pork industry,” said Bergmann.

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