Ottawa Announces Funding to Keep Out ASF



The federal government on Thursday announced new funding to help keep African Swine Fever at bay.

Ottawa said it will invest up to $31 million to increase the number of detector dogs at Canadian airports to help prevent illegally imported meat products from entering into Canada. This funding will allow for the addition of 24 detector dog teams over five years, bringing the total number to 39 Food, Plant, and Animal Detector Dog Service (DDS) teams, according to a federal release.

Illegally imported meat and meat products from countries affected by African swine fever (ASF) present one of the greatest risks for introducing the disease to Canada. Detector dogs are the best available method to intercept meat products, making them the most effective tool in protecting Canada’s swine population from ASF as well as other animal diseases.

Although Canada has never had a case of ASF, the disease continues to spread in parts of Asia and Europe. ASF poses no risk to human health, but it could disrupt Canada’s pork industry, which includes over 100,000 direct and indirect Canadian jobs.

ASF is a serious viral disease that can cause fever, internal bleeding and high death rates in pigs. It is highly contagious and can spread rapidly through both direct and indirect contact with infected pigs or pig products. ASF only affects members of the pig family. There is no treatment or vaccine for ASF.

Canada also announced it is hosting the first international ASF forum in Ottawa from April 30 to May 1, 2019. In collaboration with the United States and supported by leaders from Mexico, the European Union, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), provincial, territorial and state partners, as well as industry, this forum will provide an opportunity to further strengthen international cooperation to stop the spread of ASF.

Source: DePutter Publishing Ltd.

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