Canadian Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack have agreed that all appropriate steps are being pursued to safeguard public health and bolster the pork industries in both countries again H1N1 Influenza A virus.

Additional review of the H1N1 Influenza A virus by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has reaffirmed that the virus found in swine at an Alberta farm is the human strain. The CFIA has fully isolated and contained the situation on the Alberta farm.

“We are confident that Canadian authorities are taking all necessary steps to protect the public and the pork industry,” Secretary Vilsack says. “The international scientific community agrees that pork is safe. We are urging all countries to remove any restrictions on the movement of pork that are not based on sound science. A strong and respectful relationship is vital for the pork industry in both Canada and the United States.”

Both countries recognize the scientific consensus of international scientific groups such as the World Health Organization and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) that this H1N1 flu outbreak does not represent a food safety issue.

“Canada is committed to close scientific cooperation with our American counterparts,” Ritz adds. “This is a great example of both countries rejecting protectionism and respecting international agreements to keep safe trade moving.”