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Canadian Pork Industry Statement on Federal Budget

by 5m Editor
24 March 2011, at 9:03am

CANADA - The Canadian Pork Council reviewed Tuesday's federal government budget with great interest. The government confirmed its commitment to address emerging swine health issues and the need for Canada to pursue free trade agreements.

The Canadian pork industry is grateful that the government has recognized the importance of animal health. The Canadian hog sector was dramatically impacted by Porcine Circovirus Associated Diseases five years ago and producers are aware of the ever-present threat of foreign animal disease outbreak to the industry. The funding extension to the Swine Health Board will allow the board to complete projects that were initiated over the past two years in addition to allowing the industry to continue to improve its capacity to react swiftly to emerging animal health challenges.

In terms of the government’s commitment to pursuing free trade agreements, the CPC would like to reiterate that opening up markets is critical for the Canadian hog industry's recovery. The CPC continues to be a strong supporter of Canada entering into a comprehensive free trade agreement (FTA) with the European Union and finalizing bilateral free trade agreement with South Korea. CPC wants the government to resume the FTA talks with South Korea that have been interrupted since 2008. With the recent agreement between South Korea and the United States, the Canadian pork industry is very concerned that postponing the FTA talks any further will seriously affect the competitiveness of the pork industry and all other Canadian sectors exporting to South Korea.

Although the budget contains an ongoing demonstration of commitment to the hog industry, CPC is looking forward to stronger commitments especially regarding the development of FTAs.