QUEBEC CITY, Quebec – The government of Canada announced financial investments aimed at improving the country’s swine health surveillance systems.

The government said C$1.5 million in funding from the Canadian Agricultural Partnership’s AgriAssurance Program will go to the Canadian Pork Council (CPC), which will adopt a virus detection system. The surveillance system will provide CPC with consistent information about the health of the swine herd in Canada, track warning signs of disease and rapidly identify new swine diseases and emerging diseases before an outbreak occurs.

“Canadian pork producers welcome this investment in research and development from the government of Canada in the area of swine health,” said Rick Bergmann, Canadian Pork Council Chair. “This project will provide a comprehensive tests to laboratories and will help veterinarians and producers manage the Canadian hog herd. Furthermore, using the data obtained through this project to inform disease surveillance activities will greatly benefit the industry and help prepare for disease mitigation.”

This latest investment follows a previous spend of more than C$94,000 to the Univ. of Montreal (UdeM) to develop an advanced disease surveillance tool that will enable Canadian hog producers to better understand the frequency of diseases, emerging strains, and the movement of endemic diseases in Canada.

“The project established the base of a model for sharing and managing swine microorganism sequences in Canada,” said Estela Cornaglia, DVM, PhD, director of the Diagnostic Service, Faculty of Veterinary Medecine, Univ. de Montréal. “This represents a structuring, complementary and synergic basis for surveillance to understand strain emergence and movement of economically important endemic diseases in Canada.”

Canada’s hog industry includes more than 8,000 hog farms and accounted for C$4.5 billion in farm receipts and C$4 billion in pork exports in 2017.