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Reducing the spread of African Swine Fever

MELFORT, Sask. — The federal government is providing $45.3 million to increase efforts to reduce the risk of African Swine Fever (ASF) from entering Canada as well as prepare for a potential outbreak.

ASF is a fatal swine disease that spreads through both direct and indirect contact with infected pigs, pork, and pork by-products. Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau said the industry needs to be prepared for a timely and coordinated response to limit the potential impact of an outbreak.

Although Canada has never had a case of ASF, the disease continues to spread in several regions around the world.

There will be $23.4 million provided to support preparedness, like biosecurity assessments, coordination for wild pig management, retrofit of existing abattoirs, sector analysis and ASF-related research projects.

Canadian Pork Council chair, Rick Bergman, said the funding is significant for producers.

“We welcome the government’s investment towards keeping ASF out of our country and off our farms. We have seen the negative impact of ASF in other parts of the world which demonstrates the need for this collaboration between government and our sector,” Bergman said.

In addition, up to $19.8 million will be invested in the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s (CFIA) prevention and preparedness efforts. It will support enhancement of laboratory capacity, establish zoning arrangements with additional trading partners, and contributing to international efforts to develop a safe and effective ASF vaccine.

More than 70 per cent of Canadian pork is exported, making it the third-largest pork exporting country in the world.

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