African Swine Fever and Compartmentalization

We have taken a leadership role in the pork industry regarding planning and preparedness for an outbreak of African Swine Fever (ASF) in Canada. Our current focus is to maintain and ensure global food security and the highest degree of animal welfare and environmental stewardship during the course of disease eradication efforts, should they become necessary.

A key focus of our ASF preparedness efforts is the development of an ASF-Free Compartment. Compartmentalization is a disease control strategy where a subpopulation of animals under a common management system can be certified as free of disease based on compliance with a set of rigorous disease prevention and risk mitigation requirements. An ASF-Free Compartment would allow trade to continue from Compartment farms should ASF enter Canada.

Maple Leaf initiated and continues to actively support a national effort, now led by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the Canadian Pork Council, to develop national standards and a governance framework for a National ASF Compartmentalization Program in Canada. Canadian efforts to develop an ASF Compartmentalization Program represent global leadership in ASF control.

We continue to work with expert veterinary epidemiologists at One Health Scientific Solutions and Ausvet to develop best practices in ASF prevention and control. In 2020, a highlight of this collaboration was publishing a scientific article about risk-based early detection of ASF using mortality thresholds (Faverjon et al., 2020; doi: 10.1111/tbed.13765).

Our veterinarians and technical experts are actively involved in all aspects of preparing for ASF. They have designed and implemented measures to protect our farms, including biosecurity measures necessary to prevent ASF entry, real-time traceability of movements of people, vehicles and pigs, and surveillance programs to ensure early detection of ASF in the event it enters Canada.