Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

October 17, 2006 16:22 ET

AAFC: Minister Strahl Announces $1.75 Million in Funding for University of Saskatchewan's Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization

SASKATOON, SASKATECHEWAN--(CCNMatthews - Oct. 17, 2006) - The Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board, today announced $1.75 million in new funding to support the University of Saskatchewan's Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO) for development of alternatives to antibiotics over the next three years.

The federal funding under the Advancing Canadian Agriculture and Agri-Food (ACAAF) Program will allow the VIDO to undertake a three-year research project that will focus on poultry and swine, but could eventually include cattle entering feedlots to prevent bacterial infection and to increase the protective power of vaccines.

"Research that better protects livestock from infectious diseases and leads to safer food makes sense both for producers and consumers," said Minister Strahl. "Canada's new government is pleased to provide funding to study alternative technologies that may reduce or even replace antibiotics in livestock and poultry operations."

The VIDO project will test the use of naturally occurring peptides to provide early protection for animals by stimulating innate immunity and directly killing bacteria, as well as increasing the magnitude of the immune response following vaccination.

Infectious diseases continue to be a major cause of economic loss to Canada's livestock industry and a significant cause of animal suffering. No new classes of antibiotics have been developed in the last 20 years.

"Infectious agents know no boundaries and so are not restricted to any region," said Dr. Lorne Babiuk, Director of the VIDO. "Developing substitutes for antibiotics is even more important now as antibiotic disease resistance increases on a global scale."

The VIDO is a world leader in the research and development of vaccine and immunotherapeutic technologies for livestock and humans.

For more information on VIDO, please visit Information on the ACAAF program can also be found online at

Contact Information

  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
    Media Relations
    University of Saskatchewan
    Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization
    Tess Laidlaw, Communications Officer
    Minister Strahl's office
    Jeff Howard
    Press Secretary