Canada is buying detector dogs to keep away the ASF virus
Canada is trying to keep the ASF virus out of the country with help from detector dogs. $31 million will be invested by the Ministry of Agriculture and Agri-Food in the next five years to allow the addition of 24 detector dog teams in this time. That will bring the total number of teams used by Food, Plant, and Animal Detector Dog Service (DDS) to 39, announced the Canadian Food Inspection Agency in a press release.
Dogs will be used in airports to help prevent illegally imported meat products from entering into Canada. "Illegally imported meat and meat products from countries affected by African swine fever (ASF) present one of the greatest risks for introducing this animal disease to Canada. Detector dogs are our best available method to intercept meat products, making them the most effective tool in protecting Canada’s swine population from ASF as well as other animal diseases", it is said in the press release.
The country is to host the first international ASF forum in Ottawa from April 30 to May 1, 2019, and even if it didn't have any ASF cases in history is trying to cooperate to stop the spread of ASF in Asia and Europe.
"As Canada’s new Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, I am committed to continuing Canada’s efforts to prevent the introduction of African swine fever into the country. By working collaboratively, producers, the Canadian public at large and the international community can help stop the spread of this deadly disease affecting swine populations and protect Canada’s fourth largest agricultural sector," declared Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.
Among the measures adopted by Canadian authorities to prevent and control the spread of foreign animal diseases into and within the country are the following:
- The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is raising awareness among travellers through social media and has already reached over 20 million people with its ASF campaign. Additional signage has been placed at airports reminding travellers of the requirement to declare all food and animal products at the border to keep foreign animal diseases, including ASF, out of Canada;
- The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has redirected current detector dog capacity to key international airports to better focus on passengers and goods coming from high-risk areas;
- CBSA’s border services officers have been provided with guidance on applying the penalty of $1,300 to travellers who fail to declare pork or pork products or any other meat when entering the country.
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