OTTAWA, ONTARIO – The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently signed a protocol to guide bilateral trade if African swine fever (ASF) is detected in feral pigs, without cases in domestic swine.

All trade between both countries would initially stop following confirmation of ASF in feral swine. Then trade would resume in three, progressive phases with increasingly reduced restrictions on live swine, swine germplasm and untreated swine commodities.

Under the protocol, agencies would establish initial control areas, initiate surveillance/case findings and removal of feral swine and start surveillance in captive swine. Trade restrictions are reduced to the boundaries of the established control area during the third and final phase.

“Continuing trade with Canada in the event of a feral African swine fever detection is important to our stakeholders, and this trade protocol provides the necessary guidance to minimize the impact to the swine industry,” said Dr. Burke Healey, USDA Chief Veterinarian. “This collaborative effort uses a science-based approach to ensure trade between both countries resumes as quickly as possible.”

Canada and the United States will continue to modify export certificates to allow trade of live swine, swine semen, pet food and animal by-products and meat from approved disease-free zones in the event of an ASF outbreak in domestic pigs. Both countries agreed to modify export certificates to ensure safe trade in the event an outbreak in 2019.

The protocol also calls for both countries to define geographic boundaries to contain an outbreak.

“Zoning is an internationally-recognized tool used to help manage diseases and facilitate international trade,” said Dr. Jaspinder Komal, Canada’s Chief Veterinary Officer. “If a case of ASF is identified, geographic boundaries are defined to contain the outbreak. These geographic boundaries are control zones established in accordance with the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) guidelines. The areas outside of these control zones are disease-free zones.”