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Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister highlights cooperation in foreign animal disease preparedness

Saskatchewan's Minister of Agriculture says the cull line being incorporated into the North 49 sow slaughtering plant in Moose Jaw provides the infrastructure to deal with market disruptions triggered by a foreign animal disease.

In response to the threat of African swine fever, the Government of Saskatchewan and Sask Pork have committed $1 million swine disease mitigation, including adding a dedicated cull line into the North 49 processing facility being built in Moose Jaw by Donald's Fine Foods.

Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister David Marit said the cull line is something we hope we will never have to use but it will be available if it's needed.

”The plan is kind of under the auspices of the federal government, through Canadian Food Inspection Agency, through CFIA. What we're trying to do, all of the ag ministers across the country, along with the federal ag minister, are trying to work into what we call zones, so there would be a western Canadian zone, an eastern Canadian zone and in partnership with our U.S. partners and Mexico as well, a North American plan. That's what we're working on. Unfortunately, we can put this all together hypothetically but, in the event that African swine fever does get into the North American continent, we have no idea how the markets would react,” explained Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister David Marit. “Would our trading partners globally say, "no, we're not accepting it."

”In western Canada, the largest part of the hog supply is exported overseas and into the U.S. as well.
That's both processed meat and live animals. If the border closes, how do we handle that? Our stakeholders are still producing hogs and there's only so much time that you can hold back and, in the event that you have to do a humane slaughter you have to have the facility to be able to do it and this allows us that opportunity now,” added Marit.

Marit acknowledged that African swine fever could be here tomorrow and, while we pray to God that it isn't, we need to be ready.

Source : Saskpork

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