On September 19, a town hall teleconference was held in collaboration with Canada West Swine Health Intelligence Network (CWSHIN), Alberta Pork, Saskatchewan Pork and Manitoba Pork, highlighting how CWSHIN is acting to prevent the spread of African Swine Fever (ASF) and share critical information with those who need it.
This was a successful meeting involving many invested parties, containing important information for all producers and members of the western Canadian pork industry. We encourage everyone to listen to the recording below. For more information, email Javier Bahamon or phone 780-469-8982.
The meeting included the following:
Updates from Canada West Swine Health Intelligence Network (CWSHIN) – Dr. Jette Christensen
- CWSHIN is composed of B.C. Pork, Alberta Pork, Saskatchewan Pork and Manitoba Pork.
- CWSHIN surveys the critical impressions of veterinarians working with diseased animals and associated laboratory reports, to get an impression on trends.
- CWSHIN gathers data on condemned pigs from federally inspected plants across western Canada to discuss which diseases have increased and decreased, to find mitigation solutions.
- CWSHIN hosts quarterly calls for stakeholders. CWSHIN’s quarterly call in August 2018 included a long discussion on ASF, and a summary was sent to veterinarians. The next call takes place in October 2018.
- CWSHIN encourages producers to review biosecurity protocols. This is the most important action for preventing the spread of ASF.
- There are five ways in which ASF could come into Canada: pig semen and embryos, food scraps used for feed, feed ingredients and humans coming into contact with ASF-infected livestock or wildlife.
- ASF is a federally reported disease under the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). CFIA is working on a travel guide to screen visitors from high-risk regions.
- Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has been made aware of visitors arriving from high-risk regions
Updates from the Canadian Pork Council (CPC) – Dr. Egan Brockhoff
- ASF poses no food safety issues or health risks for humans, though the disease is human-driven—the product of globalization and proximity of people and animals.
- ASF transmission occurs by oral or nasal exposure, through direct or indirect contact.
- There is no vaccine or other treatment available for ASF.
- ASF is characterized by hemorrhagic fever, lack of appetite, respiratory stress and more. If a pig happens to survive, the virus can continue to be shed for up to six months. The incubation period for ASF in a newly infected animal ranges from five days to two weeks.
- Mortality for ASF can be quite low or upward of 100 percent, depending on the strain of the virus and the environmental conditions of a farm. However, due to a lack of treatment, any infected pigs will need to be culled.
- ASF is a complex, robust virus but is not as infections as Classical Swine Fever or Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea (PED). It survives easily in many different environments and can be difficult to get out of affected areas.
- ASF is infectious in feces for 11 days, in fresh meat for 15 days, in bone marrow for months, and potentially indefinitely in frozen meat.
- There is no evidence that wild pigs in Canada have ASF or other diseases in their populations, though wild pigs remain a threat of transmission.
Updates from the Animal Nutrition Association of Canada (ANAC) – Melissa Dumont
- Make sure you know where your ingredients are coming from, especially if you are mixing your own feed. If you are unsure, ask your supplier. Vitamins, amino acids and minerals are common feed ingredients coming from China. Higher-risk ingredients include soybean meal and animal by-products.
- ANAC members produce approximately 95 per cent of feed on farms in Canada, which means feed manufactured by ANAC members is third-party inspected, as per CFIA regulations.
- Feed manufacturers must have the right biosecurity processes in-place, on-farm to prevent ASF.
- Containers and bags used for transporting feed ingredients can be vectors for ASF.
- If any feed ingredients test positive for ASF in China, these ingredients will reportedly be destroyed. The reliability of testing and destruction in China is uncertain. There is currently no testing for ASF in feed ingredients taking place in Canada, due to certain technical limitations.