Canadian pork producers thankful for government’s efforts to prevent African swine fever from impacting the industry
CPC news release
Canadian pork producers were on hand this afternoon to hear Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Marie-Claude Bibeau speak about the efforts put forth by the federal government to prevent African swine fever (ASF) from entering Canada. Minister Bibeau also announced new funding for detector dogs at Canadian international airports.
The Canadian Pork Council (CPC) is pleased to hear that the capacity to detect meat in Canadian ports of entry will significantly increase with this funding. “On behalf of Canadian pork producers, the CPC had requested that the presence of dogs who could detect the presence of meat in passengers' luggage be increased in international airports” explains Rick Bergmann, CPC Chair. “We are thankful for the great collaboration of Minister of Public Safety Ralph Goodale and the increased measures that will prevent potentially contaminated meat from making its way to our communities and our farms. This will help the entire livestock industry” adds Mr. Bergmann.
CPC’s 2nd Vice-Chair René Roy was present for the announcement today: “On behalf of Canadian pork producers, I want to thank Minister Bibeau and the federal government for acknowledging the pork industry’s contribution to Canada’s economy and supporting the thousands of jobs in the sector across the country by raising the preventive measures to avoid the introduction of this devastating foreign animal disease in Canada,” said Mr. Roy.
Humans are most likely to be the ones to bring in the African swine fever virus into Canada, either by bringing in contaminated meat, or by travelling with the virus on their clothes, footwear and personal items. Although the virus does not infect humans, it is very deadly for the pigs who come into contact with it. The introduction of African swine fever into Canada would put over 100,000 jobs in jeopardy and cost the Canadian economy $24 billion dollars.
Over the past months, various governmental agencies and industry organizations have been coming together and collaborating on this file. “Pork producers are thankful for all the support they have received and are doing their part to prevent the virus from compromising the health status of their herd, increasing their biosecurity and taking preventive measures,” says Mr. Bergmann. “We appreciate all the efforts put forth to prevent African swine fever from making its way to Canada,” he adds. This collaboration will be further strengthened next month during the international ASF forum hosted in Ottawa that was announced by Minister Bibeau today. Stakeholders will meet and discuss the issue that is plaguing pork producers worldwide.
The Canadian Pork Council is the national voice for hog producers in Canada. A federation of nine provincial pork industry associations representing 7,000 farms, the organization plays a leadership role in achieving and maintaining a dynamic and prosperous Canadian pork sector.