The governments of Canada and Ontario will deliver $3 million over three initiatives to enhance biosecurity and support the provincial pork sector’s African swine fever (ASF) prevention and emergency preparedness efforts, the province says.

Starting November 5, 2021, and under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, processors and other agri-businesses can access an intake to support training, education and planning, as well as for supply and infrastructure investments and modifications needed to “strengthen swine-related operations, support industry businesses, and protect the herds and livelihoods of Ontario’s pork producers.”

The intake for the province’s pork industry and related businesses will provide cost-share funding, at 50 per cent for eligible expenses, as of October 19, 2021, that support biosecurity improvements and emergency preparedness planning for the sector.

Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs says that government’s role is not just to react but to also be proactive to help mitigate risks to the agri-food sector and food supply.

“The recent detection of African swine fever in the Caribbean and the devastating impacts it has had in Europe and Asia is a good reminder to tighten protections all along the pork industry value chain to try to prevent the introduction of the disease which would lead to significant market and trade disruptions,” says Thompson.

Targeted financial support will also be provided to help the producers with transitioning Eurasian wild boar out of production.

“Our government is taking action to phase out the production of Eurasian wild boar,” says Greg Rickford, Minister of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry. “Preventing the spread of new invasive species such as wild pigs is another critical step to safeguard the swine industry from the ASF, and protect the broader health of our communities, economy and natural environment.”

Ontario will be regulating wild pigs under the Invasive Species Act, 2015, as wild pigs pose a greater risk of transmitting ASF if they escape in the wild.

To assist Eurasian wild boar farmers and encourage faster transition, producers who agree to stop raising them within six months will be eligible for funding to shift to other forms as production, such as heritage breeds or other livestock or crop production.

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