OTTAWA, CANADA - If African Swine Fever ever does reach North America, defense against the spread of this highly contagious animal disease would be handled more like a Bird Flu containment operation than a Mad Cow crisis.
Canada’s Food Inspection Agency joint with the USDA’s Animal and Plant Inspection Agency, better known as APHIS, have established a plan based on ‘local-quarantine zones’ rather than a broader-region or country-wide lock down.
Dr. Amy Snow, National Manager of the Foreign Animal Disease Section of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, explains why an African Swine Fever defense requires a more localized approach to quick disease irradiation.
“Zoning is an internationally recognized disease-control tool to prevent disease from spreading through the application of movement-controls. We often use zoning approaches where we have highly contagious, rapidly-moving diseases, and disease eradication activities are focused within the zone."
Snow says that, should an African Swine Fever outbreak occur, the U.S. and Canada have established lines of communication to deal with the integrated nature of livestock and meat-product industries.