Canada hosts international ASF forum

By Aidan Fortune

- Last updated on GMT

Canada hosts international ASF forum

Related tags Pork Livestock

The chief veterinary officers for Canada, Mexico and the US met earlier this week to discuss prevention and control of African Swine Fever (ASF) in the Americas.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency's chief veterinary officer for Canada, Dr. Jaspinder Komal, accompanied by Dr. Jack Shere, chief veterinary officer for the United States and by Dr. Juan Gay Gutierrez, chief veterinary officer for Mexico met to issue the following statement about the ASF forum.

“Over the course of the last two days, we have worked with colleagues from around the globe at the Forum to address the risk of ASF, a serious animal disease currently impacting swine herds in Europe and Asia.

“I would like to thank the over 150 leaders and decision makers from government and industry from 15 countries who shared their expertise, engaged in productive discussions, and contributed to developing strategies to address ASF.

“Jointly, we have developed a framework that will support ongoing international collaboration and action in the areas of preparedness planning, enhanced biosecurity, business continuity, and coordinated risk communications.”

The framework includes creating: a high state of readiness to swiftly control ASF should it enter the Americas region; strengthening biosecurity measures to prevent the entry of ASF and mitigate its spread; establishing agreements in the swine sector to mitigate the trade impacts of ASF and effective communications to best inform Canadians and our neighbouring countries about the risk of ASF.

The various officers also looked at how they could work together more to tackle ASF.

Komal said: “Through our dialogue over the past two days, we have also identified several key partnerships and governance options to advance the implementation of the jointly developed framework at the regional, or the Americas level, as well as at the sub-regional and national levels.

“The collaboration over the last few days at the ASF Forum will aid us in safeguarding the Canadian pork industry, which contributes to more than 100,000 jobs that, in turn, generate close to $24 billion when farms, inputs, processing and pork exports are included. Canada is the third-largest pork exporting country in both value and volume and represents about 20% of world pork trade. In 2017, 1.2 million tonnes of Canadian pork valued at $4 billion were exported to over 100 countries.”

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