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Risk of Emerging Disease Not to Be Taken Lightly

by 5m Editor
7 July 2009, at 11:46am

CANADA - The Canadian Swine Health Board says challenges posed by Porcine Circovirus Associated Diseases and more recently the H1N1flu virus have shown the health of Canada's swine herd is something that can not be taken for granted, writes Bruce Cochrane.

Canadian Swine Health Forum, underway today and tomorrow in Saskatoon, has drawn together pork producers, pork industry stakeholders, practicing veterinarians and government officials to discuss options for addressing the next emerging swine disease.

Canadian Swine Health Board executive director Bob Harding says the goal of the forum is bring stakeholders together to outline what the board has planned and to gather input on points that might be missing or areas that need to be focused on.

Bob Harding-Canadian Swine Health Board

There are three main thrusts that the board will be addressing, research associated with swine diseases, developing a biosecurity protocol to help protect the health of the Canadian herd and also developing a risk management strategy to protect us down the road.

I think the biggest thing that we've learned is perhaps what we've always known.

We can take things for granted and say that we're lucky because we've dodged the bullet if you will.

What we do know is that these diseases are out there.

They keep changing on us no matter how well we seem to know them.

There are new strains out there that seem to come along and what our producers and right on through the chain have learned is that we need to prepare as best we possibly can because luck isn't enough.


Mr Harding says the excellent health status of Canada's swine herd is well recognized but we're not free of the risks associated with disease and there is an expectation there will be other diseases to address.

He notes presentations at the forum will be recorded for reference, those attending will have the opportunity to provide input through a workbook and additional input will be accepted following forum through the Canadian Swine Health Board web site.