African Swine Fever in Canada

As noted previously, humans are most likely to be the ones to bring in the African swine fever virus into Canada, either by bringing in contaminated meat, or by travelling with the virus on their clothes, footwear and personal items. Although the virus does not infect humans, it is very deadly for the pigs who come into contact with it. The introduction of African swine fever into Canada would put over 100,000 jobs in jeopardy and cost the Canadian economy $24 billion dollars.

As such, in March the Canadian Government dedicated extra resources towards the detection of contaminated meat, including new funding for detector dogs. The Canadian Pork Council (CPC) was pleased to hear that the capacity to detect meat in Canadian ports of entry will significantly increase with this funding. “On behalf of Canadian pork producers, the CPC had requested that the presence of dogs who could detect the presence of meat in passengers’ luggage be increased in international airports” explains Rick Bergmann, CPC Chair. “We are thankful for the great collaboration of Minister of Public Safety Ralph Goodale and the increased measures that will prevent potentially contaminated meat from making its way to our communities and our farms. This will help the entire livestock industry” adds Mr. Bergmann.

The Canadian Pork Council (CPC) urges pork producers to review their on-farm bio-security. More information can be found on the CPC website (www.cpc-ccp.com)