WINNIPEG, Manitoba – The Canadian government awarded C$482,158 to the Manitoba Pork Council which plans to develop a risk management strategy to help pork producers recover from losses caused by potential outbreaks of swine diseases.

The investment is for a two-year project aimed at creating an effective, self-sustainable and affordable risk management program that responds to financial instability in the Manitoba pork industry. Measures could include assistance with costs associated with cleaning and disinfection of premises. The proposed risk mitigation program for the province’s swine industry follows on the success of Canada’s poultry industry which established a reciprocal insurance system to mitigate the impacts of avian influenza and other poultry diseases.

“Manitoba Pork thanks the federal government for their support of this project, so that we can develop some private sector solutions to mitigate the economic impact of diseases and market fluctuations,” George Matheson, chair of the Manitoba Pork Council, said. “We will ensure that the project results will have application to all pork producers in Canada. The poultry sector has led the way in developing risk management tools for specific diseases that affect their sector. We hope to build upon those initiatives to create insurance products for the pork sector.”

If successful, the risk management scheme could expand to include pork producers in other provinces. More participants in the program translates to lower costs to individual producers, the government noted.

“Producers need to know that they have the tools and supports available to them if the worst happens,” said Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. “I’m excited by the potential of this project, not just for Manitoba, but for the pork sector across Canada. Our government is working closely with the sector on many measures that deal with disease outbreaks before, during and after they occur.”