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Ottawa Announces $9.6 Million for ASF Prevention, Preparedness

The federal government on Friday announced a multi-million dollar investment in African Swine Fever prevention and preparedness. 

The more than $9.6 million in funding will support 29 African Swine Fever Industry Preparedness Program (ASFIPP) projects in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, Ottawa said in a release. 

The money will be earmarked for ASF research, improved biosecurity measures, wild pig management activities, retrofits of existing abattoirs, and regional preparation for the welfare depopulation and disposal of healthy hogs. Funding will also go toward sector analysis, engagement and education tools, and ensuring the domestic hog sector is prepared should a case of ASF be detected. 

“This initiative, and its proactive approach, underscores our commitment to invest in advanced technologies, rigorous training, and collaborative partnerships to fortify our defenses against African Swine Fever and other potential threats,” said René Roy, Chair of the Canadian Pork Council. “This strategic focus not only protects our swine producers and their livelihoods but also upholds Canada's reputation as a reliable supplier of safe and high-quality pork products globally.” 

The $23.4 million ASFIPP was launched in 2022 and to help Canada's pork industry prepare for the possibility of ASF entering the country. 

Since 2018, ASF has spread through parts of Asia and Europe, and was detected in the Caribbean in 2021. It has never been found in Canada or the United States. However, any detection of ASF in Canada would immediately stop exports of pork products and live pigs, which could significantly impact the pork industry - a major economic driver which supports over 100,000 direct and indirect jobs and generates over $24 billion for the Canadian economy. 

The Canadian pork industry exports roughly two-thirds of its pork production and millions of live hogs per year. In 2023, pork exports were valued at $4.7 billion, excluding the 6.7 million live swine exported throughout the year. 

Preventing and preparing for foreign animal diseases is a shared responsibility between federal, provincial, and territorial governments, as well as industry. 

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