RIDGETOWN, Ontario – Canada’s government is investing $294,500 (US$291,258) to initiate small-scale projects for controlling and eradicating viral disease in pork. Under the Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program (CAAP), this investment will provide tools, coordination and funds to initiate small-scale projects for controlling and eradicating Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS).

PRRS causes reproductive failure in breeding stock and respiratory tract illness in young pigs. It costs the Canadian industry approximately $130 million (US$128.6 million) per year.

"This targeted investment will help the pork industry enhance its world-class biosecurity and disease control, bolstering its bottom line and our overall economy," said Member of Parliament Dave Van Kesteren while announcing the investment on Jan. 4 on behalf of Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz at the Southwest Agricultural Conference.

Producers, veterinarians and Canada’s pork industry will be involved in this two-year project, which will also pilot a strategy for advanced biosecurity and disease control. Long-term, the project intends to improve strategies used by producers and service providers to reduce PRRS transmission. The project will be coordinated by the Ontario Pork Industry Council's Swine Health Advisory Board (OSHAB) and serve as a model for other provinces. Results will be shared with industry and the Canadian Swine Health Board.

A five-year (2009-2014), $163-million (US$161-million) initiative, CAAP is designed to help the Canadian agricultural sector adapt and remain competitive. CAAP is delivered in Ontario by the Agricultural Adaptation Council.