September 27, 2021 – Ottawa, Ontario
Following the confirmed finding of African swine fever (ASF) in the Dominican Republic in July 2021, ASF has since been confirmed in Haiti.
Today, Canada’s Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr. Mary Jane Ireland, reaffirmed the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s (CFIA) support of efforts by the Dominican Republic and Haiti to manage the spread of ASF within their borders.
When ASF was confirmed in the Dominican Republic in July, Canada took immediate action to enhance its vigilance for both the Dominican Republic and Haiti since they share a land border. The CFIA quickly worked with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to strengthen the appropriate border controls for the Caribbean as a whole. This includes enhanced screening of travellers and mail originating from the Caribbean region by CBSA border services officers and detector dog teams. Although Canada does not import pork or pork products from Haiti or the Dominican Republic, CFIA has added them to the listing of countries of concern for ASF in relation to plant-based feed imports to ensure that any livestock feed ingredient imported from these countries meet all required conditions.
There has never been any finding of ASF in Canada or the United States, and we continue to take every necessary precaution to prevent the spread of ASF from affected countries to Canada. This includes the CFIA’s ongoing activities to raise awareness about the risks of introducing ASF into Canada by communicating with travellers through public awareness campaigns and outreach. For example, we are working with airport authorities and airlines to provide information on ASF to international travellers.
The finding of ASF in Haiti highlights the need for ongoing vigilance to prevent the spread of ASF to other regions. We will continue to work with the pork industry and our international trading partners, ensuring high levels of biosecurity to prevent further global spread of ASF. Canada’s prevention efforts are guided by the work laid out in the Framework for the prevention and control of African swine fever developed in collaboration with international trading partners.
ASF is deadly for pigs and would devastate our pork industry, impacting the Canadian economy. Whether you travel for work or pleasure, or work on a farm with pigs, disease prevention and control is everyone’s responsibility.
- African swine fever (ASF) cannot be transmitted to humans and it does not pose a risk to food safety. Canadian pork is safe to eat.
- ASF is a contagious, fatal swine disease that spreads to pigs through both direct and indirect contact with infected pigs, pork and pork by-products.
- There is no treatment or vaccine for ASF.
- Canada’s pork industry contributes over 100,000 direct and indirect jobs, mainly in Manitoba, Quebec, and Ontario, and generates approximately $28 billion to the Canadian economy. In 2020, Canada exported 1.49 million tonnes of pork to 95 countries at a total value of over $5 billion.
- Canada’s African swine fever Executive Management Board (ASF EMB) brings together federal, provincial, and territorial (FPT) governments and industry representatives to provide guidance and prioritize activities to implement the Pan-Canadian ASF Action Plan, to enhance prevention and preparedness efforts in Canada.