OTTAWA, Ontario – The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) announced that more research is planned to prepare and prevent the country from a possible African Swine Fever (ASF) outbreak.

During January, the Univ. of Saskatchewan’s Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization-International Vaccine Centre (VIDO-InterVac) plans to work with the ASF virus at a Containment Level 3-Agriculture (CL3-Ag) facility in Saskatoon.

“Science plays an important role in the fight against ASF,” said Dr. Jaspinder Komal, chief veterinary officer of Canada. “Supporting VIDO-InterVac’s vaccine research is a key step forward in stopping the progress of this deadly disease.”

According to CFIA, VIDO-InterVac will be the first non-government facility in Canada to work with the virus.

The state agency said there are currently no treatments or vaccines approved for use on the disease. However, CFIA said research is an important step toward developing and testing vaccines and antivirals.

“CFIA’s support increases Canada’s international contribution to combat the spread of ASF,” said Dr. Volker Gerdts, director of VIDO-InterVac. “This is a prime example of how this CL3-Ag infrastructure supports national priorities against emerging infectious disease and the development of solutions that mitigate their impact.”

CFIA stated ASF has never been detected in Canada and does not pose a food safety risk. The country exported approximately $4 billion worth of pork in 2018 to 87 countries.