Swine Disease Surveillance - Fact Sheet

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has enhanced its surveillance activities for porcine brucellosis, trichinellosis, and pseudorabies (Aujeszky's disease). This initiative is in partnership with the swine industry and provincial and territorial authorities.

Historically, Canada has conducted periodic, large-scale surveys for these three diseases. Those surveys have always demonstrated that Canada is free of these diseases.

Under the enhanced surveillance system, samples are regularly collected and tested.

Sample collection and testing

The CFIA collects random blood samples from mature animals at Canadian slaughter facilities. The samples are sent to a CFIA laboratory, where they undergo a series of screening tests, known as "serological tests." This process should not disrupt regular animal marketing activities.

Additional sample collection points will be identified as the surveillance system is further developed and implemented.

Positive serological test results

A positive result from a serological test means that an animal may have been exposed to one of these diseases. It does not mean that an animal is currently infected.

Follow-up investigation

If serological testing turns up a positive result, the CFIA locates the animal's farm of origin and traces the animal's history.

CFIA staff visit farms where test-positive animal(s) have resided to assess the health of the herds and to complete an epidemiological investigation. If a herd is deemed to be at risk of the disease, it is placed under precautionary quarantine. Blood samples are taken from animals in the herd for testing at a CFIA laboratory.

If an infected animal is detected, the CFIA initiates full disease control measures, which may include destruction of infected animals, depending on the disease.

Producers may be awarded compensation for animals ordered destroyed by the CFIA for disease control purposes.

Benefits of swine disease surveillance

Surveillance for porcine brucellosis, trichinellosis and pseudorabies is critical for maintaining market access for Canadian swine, swine semen and pork products. The surveillance system will also play a role in protecting human health, as brucellosis and trichinellosis can be transmitted to people.

Additional information

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