Canada has announced a four-year allocation of $76 million to prop up its ailing hog industry.

“Canada's new government is committed to ensuring the profitability of the Canadian hog sector,” announces Christian Paradis, secretary of state for Agriculture. “We recognize the challenges that producers are facing, and through this initiative we will work with industry and veterinarians to give producers the necessary tools to aggressively combat these diseases.”

Porcine circovirus-associated disease (PCVAD) has severely impacted herds, appears to be increasing across Canada and is producing new outbreaks in western provinces.

Recent research shows that mortality rates seem to be rising in affected herds. From 2000 to 2006, deaths and condemnations increased by 4%, representing 1.75 million hogs.

Producers will be assisted in four areas: herd inoculation, research, biosecurity best management practices and long-term risk management solutions.

Canadian Pork Council President Clare Schlegel says: “We applaud Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada for recognizing the critical role that good animal health plays in our sector, as well as the serious challenges hog producers are currently facing. While these diseases did not pose a food safety risk, they have had severe economic impacts on our producers.”