BY Bruce Cochrane.
The Chair of Manitoba Pork has echoed the call for federal government support in addressing the recent surge in cases of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea in Manitoba.
Representatives of Manitoba's agricultural commodity groups met yesterday with Provincial Agriculture Minister Ralf Eichler to provide input on key issues as he prepares for next month's meeting of federal, provincial and territorial agriculture ministers.
George Matheson, the chair of Manitoba Pork, says a wide range of issues including trade, labour and the environment were discussed but, specific to the pork industry, the big issue right now is the situation with PED.
George Matheson-Manitoba Pork:
It's unfortunately been a disease that has expanded on us quite rapidly over the past two months.
We now have roughly 40 cases.
To control this disease we need constant testing of farms in the infected area.
The Chief Veterinarians Office for Manitoba has been very helpful but of course it's taxed them to the limit so we've requested assistance for that group so that they aren't completely exhausted and have the help that's necessary.
We're starting to put together what's called an ARCE program, area and regional control and eradication program with the help of the provincial and federal governments to get control of this situation and eradicate the disease from the province and we've received a lot of assistance from the province of Manitoba in regards to this.
Manitoba's Pork industry is also looking for support for its call on the federal government to adopt a Trusted Trucker program, which would allow swine transport vehicles returning from U.S. farms to be washed and disinfected at Canadian truck wash facilities.
Matheson says, considering the current situation, the issue of biosecurity trumps all others right now.