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Ag in brief: African Swine Fever detected in Italy


January 10, 2022  by Bree Rody

African Swine Fever detected in Piedmont

The regional government of Piedmont, Italy has confirmed that African swine fever, a deadly virus that has destroyed significant portions of hog herds in the last several years, was found in a wild boar in the region. Tests confirmed the virus in a dead boar in Ovada, southwest of Milan. Although the virus is not novel and is harmless to humans, its physical and economic harm on the hog sector has been significant. China and other key buyers banned imports of pork from Germany in late 2020 after cases were confirmed among wild animals in the country. It has also been detected in Asia in 2018 and in Haiti and the Dominican Republic last year.

In response to the discovery, the government said it is enhancing surveillance of wild boars and increasing cleaning measures.

Ontario offers support to mitigate ASF

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Following increased concern about African Swine Fever, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) has outlined the Enhanced Biosecurity for African Swine Fever Preparedness Initiative under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership. The plan is to reduce the likelihood of the introduction of ASF into Ontario. The initiative targets mainly producers and processors as well as others in the agri-business sector along the pork value chain. Those applying for the program benefits must be an active participant in Ontario’s pork value chain and meet several other requirements outlined here. The program has made available a cost-share of up to 50 per cent of verified eligible expansions incurred and paid up to $40,000. Expenses must be incurred between Oct. 19 2021 and March 21, 2022. These expenses include labor costs, rental facilities, education, training, assessment and planning and others. More details are available through OMAFRA.

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