Farmscape for November 20, 2019
The Senior Vice President Industry and Government Relations with Maple Leaf Foods says the specter of African Swine Fever has inspired a never before seen atmosphere of awareness, preparation and cooperation.
African Swine Fever preparation and response was the focus of a panel discussion last week during Saskatchewan Pork Industry 2019 in Saskatoon.
Rory McAlpine, the Senior Vice President Industry and Government Relations with Maple Leaf Foods, says a very comprehensive national action plan has actually been developed that covers the four components of prevention, preparation, response and recovery.
Clip-Rory McAlpine-Maple Leaf Foods:
In a good management scenario you have to really do the planning for everything.
You can't just hope that your prevention will be adequate.
You've got to prepare, you've got to be ready to respond.
There's a lot of action that is being executed by all the industry players and very much so by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
In fact we've got an African Swine Fever Executive Management Board where the government and industry leaders are working together to oversee the execution of this plan.
Then of course, as a company for example, we're one of many that are putting a lot of new effort into enhanced biosecurity.
As an industry we invest greatly in the Pig Trace system.
Traceability is really important.
We do a lot in terms of the veterinary profession's oversight and the issue that we discussed here at the symposium, vaccine research is critical.
Right now there's no vaccine available for it and a lot of work still to do there but the investments are incurring in all of those areas.
It's a question of really moving fast enough to be prepared knowing that it literally could hit North America tomorrow.
McAlpine says we know from experience that in the event of a crisis, for example the BSE crisis, there's instinctively a response of collaboration but the challenge is to do the same in peace time.
He suggests we've still got to do more to be ready to share information, decision making and resources and investment while in that mode of preparing.
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