The past few years in the swine world have seen a flurry of activity to manage and prevent the movement of African Swine Fever around the globe. This disease (which only infects pigs) has had severe impacts on swine health and production worldwide, often causing death of almost 100% of infected pigs. In Canada thus far we have been lucky to maintain ASF disease-free status, which means this disease is not present here. All swine disease surveillance groups, national, provincial and front-line swine veterinarians and producers are focused on vigilant monitoring and prevention of this disease in Canada.
As part of many ASF prevention initiatives, here in Canada a surveillance and testing program was created to help reduce the risk for Canadian swine herd. CanSpotASF is a collaborative diagnostic screening program that works at the level of specific, approved animal diagnostic laboratories and at provincial and federal abattoirs to help detect ASF early if and when it appears, in order to minimize the impact of ASF on Canadian pigs and producers, and all those who work in the Canadian swine industry.
Dr. Karine Talbot, a swine veterinarian, and the Director of Animal Health with HyLife Inc. and a member of several CanSpotASF working groups, reviews the benefits of this screening program and the role for swine vets and producers in ASF surveillance.
Note: The CanSpotASF risk-based early detection testing at approved laboratories pilot is open to all Canadian Animal Health Surveillance Network (CAHSN) laboratories. CAHSN laboratories that are not approved for ASF testing can submit samples to a network laboratory that is approved.
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