OTTAWA, ON, June 22, 2021 /CNW/ - Today, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food announced that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and the Singapore Food Agency have agreed to an African swine fever (ASF) zoning arrangement to allow for the safe trade of swine products from disease-free zones in Canada in the event of an ASF outbreak.
ASF is a viral disease that does not infect humans, but poses a significant risk to the health of Canadian swine herds, pork industry and the Canadian economy.
Following their evaluation of CFIA's zoning proposal, Singapore agreed to a regionalization arrangement with Canada. This means that restrictions on the import of Canadian pork and pork products into Singapore, valued at CAD $10 million per year, would only be limited to the areas within the Primary Control Zone(s), once established, if a case of ASF were to be found in Canada. This arrangement would serve to minimize trade impacts to the Canadian swine sector while protecting the swine populations in both countries.
Zoning is an internationally-recognized tool used to help manage diseases and facilitate international trade. If a case of ASF is identified, geographic boundaries are defined to contain the outbreak. The area within these geographic boundaries form the Primary Control Zone(s) established in accordance with the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) guidelines. The areas outside of these Primary Control Zone(s) are considered disease-free zones.
Zoning arrangements have been established with the U.S., the EU and now Singapore, and they are being pursued with other trading partners. The arrangement with Singapore is another positive step in Canada's prevention and preparedness efforts related to ASF. The Government of Canada is working collaboratively with other countries, industry and other stakeholders to best address the threats this disease poses. To support these efforts, the ASF Executive Management Board was formed to serve as a specialized taskforce, made up of senior industry and government representatives, to provide leadership and strategic direction relating to the risk management of ASF.
"Reducing the risks presented by African Swine Fever is a top priority for our Government. That's why we are taking unprecedented steps to reduce the risk ASF poses to our pig population, our economy and the livelihoods of over one hundred thousand Canadians. We will continue to work with international partners to prevent the spread of African swine fever and mitigate its potential impact on Canada's economy."
- The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
"Preparedness is of utmost importance in order to react quickly and to prevent the spread of an animal disease. That's why Canada is taking unprecedented steps in preventing and mitigating the potential impact of African swine fever (ASF) here at home, while collaborating with other countries as a leader in the global fight against ASF."
- Dr. Jaspinder Komal, Chief Veterinary Officer for Canada
Canada's pork industry supports more than 103,000 direct and indirect jobs and contributes about CAD $24 billion annually to the Canadian economy.
In 2020, the Canadian pork industry exported 1.4 million tonnes valued just over CAD $5 billion to 93 export markets.
Canada is the third-largest pork exporting country in both value and volume and represents 14% of the world's pork trade. Canada exports nearly 70% of its live hog and pork production.
Singapore is the 16th largest destination for Canadian pork. Canada exported 3,327 tonnes of pork to Singapore in 2020, valued at CAD $10 million.
There is no treatment or vaccine for ASF. The CFIA is keeping a close eye on any research related to the treatment and control of ASF, including vaccine development, through international collaboration.
There is no evidence that the ASF virus can infect humans, and it is not considered a food safety risk.
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SOURCE Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA)
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