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Keeping African Swine Fever out of Canada

Detector Dog Ambrose sniffed out some prohibited pork products at the airport.

Small things can have major impacts. Introducing African swine fever (ASF) to Canada is as easy as bringing a single piece of contaminated meat into Canada. You can even be carrying the virus right into Canada without knowing it. When it comes to bringing food, plant or animal products across our border, the key is awareness and making sure you know what to do when coming into our country.

African swine fever, or ASF, is a highly-contagious viral disease of pigs (including farm, pets and wild pigs). It causes significant death rates in infected pigs and can contaminate swine herds in various ways. Cases of ASF have been found in China and parts of Europe, among other common travel destinations.

While there have been no reported cases of ASF in Canada, its introduction could have a major economic impact by interrupting the Canadian pork industry, which pulls in over $20 billion for Canada annually.

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is combining its efforts with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to help prevent ASF from reaching Canada. Recently, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, announced over $30 million in new funding to increase the number of CBSA detector dogs at Canadian airports to help prevent illegally imported meat products from entering into Canada. This funding will allow for the addition of 24 CBSA Detector Dog Service (DDS) teams at ports of entry over 5 years, bringing the total number of food, plant and animal DDS teams to 39.

And as a traveller, you can help too.

Not doing so would not only put the pork industry at risk, it could also lead to substantial penalties of up to $1,300 or even prosecution.

The CFIA also advises that people such as farm workers and hunters are particularly at risk of bringing back contaminated food, clothing and equipment. In addition to the obligation to declare at the border, they are advised to wash or dispose of any clothing and footwear worn while travelling to a country that is infected with ASF.

Your efforts and vigilance are critical in preventing ASF from entering Canada by avoiding bringing contaminated food, clothing or equipment to the country. For more information, consult the CFIA's web site.

Keeping African Swine Fever out of Canada
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Stop! Do not bring african swine fever to Canada

African swine fever is a serious viral disease affecting pigs. The death rate is very high and could affect the Canadian pork industry and Canada’s economy.

Critical actions

  • Do not bring pork products into Canada.
  • Always declare all food, plant and animal products at the border.
  • Tell a border services officer if you have recently visited or worked on a farm outside of Canada. Your footwear and/or clothing might be contaminated.

Failure to do so could result in

  • The seizure of the pork products for safe disposal
  • A penalty of up to $1300 or prosecution for not declaring
  • The introduction and spread of African swine fever in Canada

Canada is the world’s third-largest pork exporter, exporting to more than 100 countries.

The pork industry generates upwards of $24 billion to the Canadian economy every year.

Visit www.inspection.gc.ca for more information.

Download as a PDF (670 KB)

Did you know?

  • Canada is the world's third-largest pork exporter, exporting to more than 100 countries!
  • Canada's pork industry generates upwards of $24 billion to the Canadian economy every year, and exports $4 billion worth of the total amount produced; the introduction in Canada of a highly-contagious disease such as African swine fever would shut down this country's exports and severely impact its industry.
  • Bringing undeclared products into Canada can unknowingly introduce unwanted diseases into Canada that have severe repercussions.
  • The Canadian pork industry contributes to over 100,000 direct and indirect jobs.
  • You can face consequences, including a $1,300 penalty, for not declaring all food, plant and animal products that you are bringing into Canada.
  • If you are visiting or returning to Canada, you must declare all food and animals products at the border. You also have an obligation to declare if you have been on a farm – anywhere in the world – and/or if you are planning to visit a farm in Canada within 14 days.
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