Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

August 20, 2007 15:39 ET

Canada's New Government Announces $76 Million to Combat Disease in the Hog Sector

ST-NARCISSE-DE-BEAURIVAGE, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Aug. 20, 2007) - The Honourable Christian Paradis, Secretary of State for Agriculture, on behalf of the Honorable Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board, today announced that Canada's New Government is contributing $76 million over four years to combat disease and enhance prosperity and stability in the hog sector.

"Canada's New Government is committed to ensuring the profitability of the Canadian hog sector," said Secretary of State Paradis. "We recognize the challenges that producers are facing and through this initiative we will work with industry and veterinarians to give producers the necessary tools to aggressively combat these diseases."

Porcine Circovirus Associated Diseases (PCVAD) are severely affecting the Canadian swine industry, with incidences increasing across Canada.

Consistent with the recommendations of an industry-government task team, the four-year program will focus on assisting producers and the industry in four areas. They are herd inoculation, research, bio-security best management practices and finding long-term risk management solutions. Canada's New Government will continue to work closely with the hog industry through the Canadian Pork Council and the veterinary community to develop program details for each of these four areas.

Canadian Pork Council President Clare Schlegel is pleased by today's announcement. "We applaud Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada for recognizing the critical role that good animal health plays in our sector, as well as the serious challenges hog producers are currently facing. While these diseases did not pose a food safety risk, they have had severe economic impacts on our producers."

He adds, "We thank AAFC for its support of our industry. We look forward to working with AAFC to address disease threats, which will help to ensure our industry remains competitive."

For more details on PCVAD, please see the attached backgrounder.


Porcine Circovirus Associated Diseases (PCVAD) is a term used to define the entire range of diseases affecting pigs that are associated with Pork Circovirus 2 (PCV2) including Postweaning Multisystemic Wasting Syndrome (PMWS), respiratory illness, pneumonia, diarrhea, reproductive disorders and high mortality in pigs.

Symptoms of PCVAD may include depletion of lymphoid cells in growing pigs, inflammation in one or more tissues such as the spleen, thymus, intestines, lymph nodes, lung, kidney, liver, tonsil, etc. and detection of PCV2 within the lesions of growing pigs. PCV2-associated diseases pose no risk to human health.

PCVAD/PMWS is severely affecting the Canadian swine industry, with incidences increasing across Canada and new outbreaks in Western Canada. Recent research shows that mortality rates also seem to be on the rise within infected herds. From 2000 to 2006, deaths and condemnations within the Canadian hog herd increased by 4 percent representing approximately 1.75 million hogs.

Veterinarians and producers are aggressively examining ways to prevent and control PCV2-associated diseases. There are currently 3 vaccines available for inoculating pigs.

Most success in managing PCV2-associated diseases has come from attending to the details of biosecurity, sanitation, production strategies, environment, and control of other diseases. Avoiding the introduction of live animals, minimizing visitor traffic on the farm, rodent, insect and bird control, minimizing cross fostering activity, cleaning and disinfection of facilities and control of farm pathogens appears to be helpful in preventing disease transmission. Strategic and appropriate vaccination and prompt treatment of ill pigs will also help to reduce the risk of transmitting PCV2-associated diseases between pigs.

A National Program Options Task Team was established in 2007 to help address PCVAD/PMWS in the Canadian Pork Industry. The Task Team is co-chaired by Clare Schlegel, President of the Canadian Pork Council and an Ontario pork producer, and by Danny Foster, Director General of Business Risk Management Program Development at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

Contact Information

  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Media Relations
    Office of the Honourable Christian Paradis
    Mark Quinlan
    Director of Communications