Canadian Food Inspection Agency

Canadian Food Inspection Agency

November 05, 2007 14:00 ET

Government Commits Funding to Eradicate Plum Pox Virus

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 5, 2007) - The Government of Canada and the Province of Ontario have committed new funding to eradicate plum pox virus in order to protect Canadian tender fruit producers, the Honourable Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-food Canada and the Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board announced today.

Plum pox virus, an easily transmissible virus which causes significant yield losses, was first discovered in Ontario and Nova Scotia in 2000. It is not a threat to human or animal health but it is a serious plant disease affecting tender fruit (including peaches, plums, nectarines, and apricots) and ornamental trees and shrubs. Plum pox virus is transmitted from infected trees by aphids or by grafting or budding.

"We are pleased to announce that the Government of Canada will be contributing up to $45.6 million in additional funding to eradicate plum pox virus," said Minister Ritz. "This investment will prevent the spread of PPV and lead to its eradication, as well as maintain the viability of and confidence in the safety of Canada's tender fruit, fruit processing and nursery industries."

Over the next four years, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada will contribute $36.16 million and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency will contribute $9.44 million to continue the high level of detection and surveillance of the disease, and financial assistance to affected producers. The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs remains committed to contributing its share to the financial assistance program for the 2007 program year.

This joint venture with the Province of Ontario is supported by an international panel of experts and the Ontario tender fruit industry. It is part of Canada's continuing co-operation with provincial and municipal partners and other government agencies to develop strategies to eradicate the plum pox virus in Canada.

After seven years of various control programs, the only area now remaining under quarantine is in the Niagara region.

Additional information on plum pox virus is available on the CFIA web site at www.inspection.gc.ca.

Contact Information

  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
    Media Relations
    613-759-7972
    or
    Canadian Food Inspection Agency
    Media Relations
    613-228-6682
    or
    Ontario Ministry of Agriculture Food, and Rural Affairs
    Media Relations
    416-326-9342