USDA and CFIA Agree to Safe Trade in Event of ASF Outbreak

( National Pork Board and the Pork Checkoff )

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and the USDA have agreed to allow safe trade to continue in the event African swine fever (ASF) is reported in either country. 

"A global threat, ASF cannot be addressed in isolation," the joint statement released by CFIA and USDA said. "Only by working together with governments, industry and other stakeholders can we best address the threat of ASF while maintaining trade of pork and pork products which are important to the North American economies.  "

U.S. Chief Veterinary Officer (CVO) Dr. Jack Shere in collaboration with the Canada’s CVO, Dr. Jaspinder Komal, announced this collaboration on Wednesday. For business continuity, Canada and the U.S. are modifying their export certificates to allow trade of live swine, swine semen, pet food and animal by-products and meat to continue trade in approved disease-free zones in the event of an ASF outbreak, according to a USDA announcement.

This builds on Canada and U.S. zoning arrangements entered into by CFIA and USDA on August 15, 2018, which set out principles for zoning and trade. Zoning is an internationally-recognized tool that helps manage diseases and facilitate international trade.

If a case of ASF is identified, geographic boundaries will be defined to contain the outbreak, USDA said. These geographic boundaries are control zones established in accordance with the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) guidelines. The areas outside of these control zones are disease-free zones.  
"This zoning arrangement has been established to safeguard the Canadian and American pork industries," the statement said. 

The pork industry in Canada contributes to more than 100,000 jobs and generates close to $24 billion when farms, inputs, processing and pork exports are included. Canada, the third-largest pork exporting country in both value and volume, represents about 20% of world pork trade. In 2017, 1.2 million tons of Canadian pork valued at $4 billion were exported to over 100 countries. 

Pork producers in the U.S. marketed over 120 million hogs in 2017, which provided total cash receipts of more than $20 billion and about 25 billion pounds of meat to consumers worldwide. Additionally, the U.S. pork industry supports more than half a million jobs in the U.S., the majority of those in rural areas.  

"The importance of zoning and safe trade was echoed by all levels of governments and industry representatives at the ASF Forum, an international event hosted by Canada April 30-May 1, in collaboration with the U.S. and supported by leaders from Mexico, the European Union, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the OIE, provincial, territorial and state partners, as well as industry," the release said.