Canada Meat Council Very Aware Of African Swine Fever

by Dennis Kim
Photo Credit: Laura Anderson

African Swine Fever has made it's way into European countries, Russia, and all began in China.

It's not a danger or threat to humans, though if pigs or hogs contract the illness, it's fatal.

The Canadian Meat Council is working closely with the government of Canada to keep the disease out of the country.

Dr. Jorge Correa, Vice-President of Market Access and Technical Affairs for the Canadian Meat Council, said t's a good opportunity to warn travelers not to bring any type of meat, especially pork coming from those countries, into Canada. Because pigs can be effected by more than just their feed.
"This virus is not a food safety issue. It's not effecting humans. But it effects the pig herd. Here in Canada we have extremely high standards on bio security. We've asked producers on the commercial level to keep doing that and not giving any leftovers to the animals. Avoid any entry of food to the barns. No entry of any type of ingredients coming from China. If you have workers coming from China, you've got to quarantine them, and throw away the clothes."

At the commercial level, they have been warned, and are very well aware of the situation.

"It's the backyard producers", said Correa. "The type of people who have 3, 4, 50 hogs in the backyard. They feed them sometimes with feed, and sometimes with something else. The idea is to not give any leftovers to the animals. Because they can get the virus for any reason. And if you're giving feed, please check out where the ingredients are coming from. Many of those ingredients can come from an infected country, and there are some mitigation procedures for the virus that you can have. So just make sure what type of feed or food you're giving to your animals."

Prevention is the best option, and the best case scenario for keeping the Fever out of the country.

"This is transferable on the swine side. It can be transferred from wild hogs or wild boars to commercial hogs. So this is possible. There's no signs that it can go other animal species at this time."

They are doing everything that is possible just to avoid the entry of the animals and the virus itself, though they are also getting prepared for an eventuality of the outbreak. Should an outbreak occur, the procedure will be similar to a process that Canada has experienced before with the avian influenza.

"The procedure is that the government would detect where the outbreak came from. They are going to trace any spread from that potential point. It's going to be created a zone. A containment zone for the animals and anyone that could be infected."

Sourced from: Discover Moosejaw

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