Ont. hog farmers funded for disease response

An Ontario hog industry group will get public funds to develop a disease emergency response plan for the sector.

The federal government on Tuesday pledged $175,000 for the not-for-profit Ontario Pork Industry Council (OPIC) to “improve and address any potential gaps in the Ontario pork industry’s emergency response system.”

Stratford-based OPIC’s project is to include clarification of various industry stakeholders’ roles and responsibilities, and development of communications networks.

The project is also expected to assess the role of traceability in preparing for possible emergencies.

“The plan will help co-ordinate and complement existing federal and provincial government programs and improve industry communications across the country,” the government said in its release.

“Although we all hope to never face a foreign animal disease emergency in our industry we have to make sure we are ready to deal with such an emergency,” Lori Moser, managing director of OPIC, said in the government’s release.

“All levels of government as well as industry partners have a role to play in disease emergency management and this funding will help enable the Ontario pork industry to respond immediately and effectively at first detection of a potential disease emergency.”

“A quick response plan for foreign animal disease outbreaks will help producers manage disease and reduce the financial implications,” Ontario MP Gary Schellenberger said in announcing the funding.

The federal funding comes from the $163 million, five-year Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program (CAAP), delivered in Ontario by the Agricultural Adaptation Council (AAC).

Projects eligible for CAAP funding could involve areas of interest such as traceability, environment, climate change, capacity development, pests or diseases. The program runs until 2014.

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