By Bruce Cochrane
The chair of the Canadian Swine Health Board says the Canadian pork industry's experience with porcine circovirus has demonstrated the value of investments in preventive medicine.
The creation of the Canadian Swine Health Board was announced in 2007 to deal with swine health issues including new and emerging diseases as part of the federal government's response to a porcine circovirus outbreak that had devastated the Canadian swine industry.
The first contribution agreement ran until March 2011, it was subsequently extended to March 2013 and unspent federal funds were reallocated.
Canadian Swine Health Board chair Florian Possberg says the organization has requested a further extension of the funding agreement and a further reallocation of unspent federal funds.
Florian Possberg-Canadian Swine Health Board:
Some of the programs, as of April 1, have had to be put on hold quite frankly.
The things that we've been able to invest in, it was very well defined in the contribution agreement that things needed to be wrapped up by March 31 so some of the activities are on hold.
We have a very small and effective and creative staff.
We're doing our best to keep the core of our staffing together and we do have some funds that were not aligned with the federal contribution agreement that we're able to keep the lights on and keep core staff on our payroll and accessible to make our programs work.
We're just doing the best we can to keep things together until more sustainable funding things can come together.
Possberg notes porcine circovirus cost the Canadian Swine industry over a billion dollars and the total investment in the Canadian Swine Health Board has been a small fraction of that amount.