OTTAWA, Ontario – The Canadian Pork Council (CPC) recently requested government funding to enhance the industry’s response to the threat of African Swine Fever (ASF). The CPC is a federation of nine provincial pork industry associations representing 7,000 pork farms.
“To date, our response has been to simply roll up our sleeves and work a little harder,” said Rick Bergman, CPC chair. “Very few new resources, apart from the detector dogs, have been brought to the battle. While this has yielded good results over the short-term, it is not sustainable.”
The CPC intends to lobby Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development to move forward with the establishment of a national Pork Promotion and Research Agency which the CPC first proposed in 2016. The Farm Products Council recommended the government establish such an agency, but the Canadian government has taken no action on the matter.
In addition to the agency, four immediate priorities the CPC said needed to be addressed include:
- eradication of feral pigs;
- enhanced on-farm and border biosecurity measures;
- stronger traceability, biosecurity and surveillance systems; and
- communication with variety of stakeholders, both before and during an outbreak.
“Armed with additional resources we will protect the sector, ensure it continues to provide Canadians with a secure supply of nutritious, high-quality pork and that it remains an important contributor to the Canadian economy,” said Quebec pork producer René Roy, second vice chair of the CPC.