The Animal Protection Party of Canada says CFIA Abdicates Responsibility Over African Swine Fever to Industry

TORONTO, March 28, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Animal Protection Party of Canada is raising the alarm over the federal government’s proposed National Compartmentalization Program (NCP) for African Swine Fever (ASF) to prevent and manage the disease in Canada. The party is calling on the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to fulfill its mandate to safeguard animal health.

ASF is one of the most severe viral diseases of pigs and continues to spread across the world having already reached Asia, the Caribbean, Europe and the Pacific. The virus has a devastating effect on pigs, causing high fever, bleeding of internal organs, weakness and difficulty standing, vomiting and diarrhea, and difficulty breathing. The disease kills over 95% of infected pigs.

Although ASF has not yet been found in Canada or the U.S., most believe it is just a matter of time. In Canada, ASF is a “reportable disease” under the Health of Animals Act, meaning all suspected cases must be reported to the CFIA. However, the CFIA is proposing to assign responsibility for the NCP for ASF almost wholly to the Canadian Pork Council, which describes the program as “a private/public partnership established and managed by the private sector”.

According to the government’s proposal, all elements of the program – from the establishment of the mortality thresholds that must be reached before testing occurs to the decisions on how to handle farms in critical non-compliance – will be developed and enforced by the CPC.

“Instead of taking the lead and being the regulator that it is supposed to be, the CFIA has chosen to put the pig industry in charge of not only developing the ASF program but also managing and enforcing it,” says Liz White, Leader, Animal Protection Party of Canada.

The CFIA advanced that it will be reviewing the program to ensure it meets national standards, however this is only because it is a requirement of the World Organization for Animal Health for the program to meet international trade standards.

“The industrial production of meat with its intensive confinement of immunologically-compromised, nearly genetically identical animals into filthy, dark sheds creates the conditions necessary to develop and spread diseases like ASF,” says Jordan Reichert, Deputy Leader, Animal Protection Party of Canada. “The industry responsible for these conditions should not be the one to police them,” he added.

Liz White Jordan Reichert
Leader, Animal Protection Party of Canada Deputy Leader, Animal Protection Party of Canada
Email: Email:
Phone: 416-809-4371 Phone: 250-216-0562