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Government of Canada helps improve swine health surveillance

The virus detection system will enable the CPC to provide consistent information on the health status of the hog population across the country, track early disease warning signs, and rapidly identify new and emerging diseases in the sector before they spread.


Photo by Pascal Debrunner on Unsplash

Canada’s hog sector, which includes over 8,000 hog farms, is a key driver of the Canadian economy, accounting for $4.5 billion in farm receipts and $4 billion in pork exports in 2017.

Parliamentary Secretary Jean-Claude Poissant, on behalf of Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Lawrence MacAulay, recently announced investments of over $1.5 million to support animal health and disease surveillance in the hog sector.

The Government will invest up to $1.5 million in the Canadian Pork Council (CPC) to adopt a virus detection system to support animal health. Funded under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership’s AgriAssurance Program, the virus detection system will enable the CPC to provide consistent information on the health status of the hog population across the country, track early disease warning signs, and rapidly identify new and emerging diseases in the sector before they spread.

This complements a previous investment of more than $94,000 to the University of MontrĂ©al (UdeM) to develop an advanced disease surveillance tool to enable faster threat detection across Canada. With funding under Growing Forward 2’s AgriMarketing Program (Assurance Systems stream), the surveillance model developed by the UdeM’s Diagnostic Services will enable the hog sector to better understand the frequency of diseases, emerging strains, and the movement of endemic diseases in Canada.

“Canadian pork producers welcome this investment in research and development from the Government of Canada in the area of swine health. This project will provide a comprehensive tests to laboratories and will help veterinarians and producers manage the Canadian hog herd. Furthermore, using the data obtained through this project to inform disease surveillance activities will greatly benefit the industry and help prepare for disease mitigation,” said Rick Bergmann, Canadian Pork Council chair.