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North 49 Foods offers details on benefits of $1 million investment to prepare for foreign animal disease

With the support of the Saskatchewan Government and Sask Pork, North 49 Foods is taking steps to help the pork sector be prepared to address foreign animal disease.

The Government of Saskatchewan and Sask Pork have allocated $1 million to support the creation of a cull line at the North 49 Foods sow processing facility being built by Donald’s Fine Foods in Moose Jaw. Earlier this week, Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister David Marit announced $700,000 in funding to support swine disease mitigation efforts with Sask Pork providing $300,000 towards a swine market disruption plan, which will help industry respond to potential market closures due to an animal health emergency event such as African swine fever.

Neil Ketilson, the Industry Relations Manager with Donald's Fine Foods, said the cull line will allow the humane slaughter of domestic hogs in the event a serious swine disease outbreak stops trade.

“African swine fever would be a devastating disease to ever get into Canada. What it would cause is a disruption in our ability to export any products to international customers. Knowing that about 70% of what we produce in Canada is actually exported abroad, it would have a devastating impact on the industry almost immediately,” explained Neil Ketilson of Donald’s Fine Foods.

“The cull line is really an opportunity to prepare for such a catastrophic event. It's a dedicated line and an ability to be able to euthanize humanely any hogs in Saskatchewan or western Canada, if need be, in the most efficient manner possible. It became part of our drawings after good discussions with the province and Donald’s was very interested in supporting the industry here. So, the new cull line was put in as an after effect. It really has nothing to do with the operation of the plant. It's totally separate. It's a win-win for everybody. It's good for the producers, it's good for the industry, it's good for the government and for North 49 Foods, it's our contribution to the industry.”

 Ketilson noted construction of the new sow slaughtering plant is well underway but supply chain issues have caused delays. He said it's hoped the plant will be operational sometime this spring but there's no exact date.

Source : Saskpork

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