A $613,050 investment by the Governments of British Columbia and Canada is resulting in increased surveillance and preventative measures to stop livestock diseases from spreading to British Columbia.
The funding provided to British Columbia Pork Producers Association results in immediate action to reduce the risk of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PEDv) arriving in British Columbia, and prepare measures to rapidly respond and contain the disease if it should ever enter the province.
The immediate action includes:
• Implementation of enhanced biosecurity efforts at the two facilities that handle pigs from within and from outside B.C., including livestock transport trucks and driver sanitation measures.
• Two pork processing facilities and 21 pork producing farms will be supported in developing response and containment plans to ensure rapid action should Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea be found. In addition, enhanced auditing and application of national standards for on-farm biosecurity will be supported.
• The industry will cost-share any activities that include the purchase of equipment and/or costs for infrastructure associated to enhancing biosecurity.
Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea is an extremely infectious and economically devastating pig disease that is new to Canada. The disease can be transmitted through animal feces among vehicles or equipment, and though harmless to people, results in a very high mortality in young piglets. To date, Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea has not been found in B.C.
Testing for Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea is conducted at the Ministry of Agriculture's Animal Health Centre. The Centre receives more than 5,000 animal samples of all varieties for diagnosis annually and is one of only three Canadian labs accredited as a Veterinary Diagnostic laboratory by the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians.
Last month the Province introduced a new Animal Health Act, updating near 70-year-old legislation, aimed at limiting the spread of current and emerging diseases, like Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea , and better responding to potentially disastrous outbreaks.
The funding announced today is from the five-year Growing Forward 2 agreement, a $3-billion federal-provincial-territorial government investment in innovation, competitiveness and market development.
"Vigilance towards Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea is key to reducing its impact on the Canadian agricultural sector and the economy as a whole. This investment will provide the British Columbia Pork Producers Association with the tools and resources it needs to support producers and processors in improving biosecurity," said Gerry Ritz, agriculture minister.
"Reducing the risk of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea becoming established in British Columbia is important to the sustainability of our province's pork sector, and this plan delivers key surveillance and preventative action. The British Columbia government just passed a new Animal Health Act which greatly improves disease management and monitoring in B.C., and furthers the reputation and consumer trust that British Columbia pork producers have earned locally and in growing markets around the world," stated Norm Letnick, British Columbia agriculture minister.
Source: Government of Canada
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