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Governments protecting Ontario’s pork sector

Christian Fernsby |
The governments of Canada and Ontario are investing nearly $3 million in three new initiatives as part of a coordinated effort to enhance biosecurity and support the provincial pork sector’s African swine fever (ASF) prevention and emergency preparedness efforts.

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Starting November 5, 2021, a new targeted intake under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (the Partnership) will provide funding to Ontario pork producers, processors and other agri businesses to support their training, education and planning, as well as for supply and infrastructure investments and modifications needed to strengthen swine related operations, support industry businesses, and protect the herds and livelihoods of Ontario pork producers.

The intake for Ontario’s pork industry and related businesses will provide cost share funding for eligible expenses that will support biosecurity improvements and emergency preparedness planning for the sector.

Costs will be eligible starting October 19, 2021.

This intake provides higher cost share at 50 per cent than other intakes under the Partnership at 35 per cent because of the critical and urgent nature of this work.

Additionally, funding will be allocated under the Partnership for an education outreach and awareness campaign for “small holder” farms, or farms that market fewer than 1,000 hogs or 50 sows per year. The campaign will focus on increasing small hog producers’ awareness of the risks of ASF and the need for strong biosecurity and emergency preparedness measures.

Targeted financial support will also be provided to help the province’s producers of Eurasian wild boar (EWB) transition out of the production of these animals.

Farm escapes of Eurasian wild boar amplify the population of wild pigs, which have already caused widespread problems in Canada’s prairie provinces and many American states – these wild pigs can damage crops and the natural environment and could transmit ASF to pork operations in Ontario.

The Ontario government is protecting the agricultural sector and the natural environment by taking action to prevent wild pigs from establishing in our province. This includes detection and removal efforts, as well as regulating wild pigs under the Invasive Species Act, 2015 as they pose a greater risk of transmitting ASF if they escape in the wild.

To assist EWB farmers and encourage faster transition, producers who agree to stop raising them within six months will be eligible for funding to shift to other forms of production such as heritage breeds of swine, other livestock or crop production.

Ontario has approximately 1,200 hog farms and accounts for 26 per cent of all hogs in Canada. The pork value chain generates almost $3 billion in gross domestic product annually in the province and employs over 55,000 people. One third of the pork produced in Ontario is consumed in the province and the rest is exported.


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