Safety of Pork Stressed Amid Concerns over H1N1 Influenza

Date of publication : 5/7/2009
Source : Farmscape (Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork Council)

The Canadian Pork Council is assuring the public of the safety of pork following the discovery of H1N1 flu in an Alberta swine herd.

On Saturday the Canadian Food Inspection Agency announced an Alberta swine herd had been placed under quarantine following the discovery of H1N1 Influenza A in the herd.

The pigs are believed to have been exposed by a Canadian who recently returned from Mexico and had been exhibiting flu like symptoms.

Signs of illness were subsequently observed in the pigs.

Canadian Pork Council chair Jurgen Preugschas says the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is taking the appropriate action and, despite the over reaction of several countries, consumers can continue to be confident in the safety of Canadian pork.

"Several countries have banned exports of pork from Canada, the United States and Mexico and that in itself has an impact even though most of them aren't the large customers but some of the are so that certainly is a considerable concern.

"On top of that, even those countries that haven't done any bans, it's more difficult.

"Traders are having some difficulty moving their product.

"The immediate result has been prices that are probably close to 20 dollars per pig below what we would have expected them to be this week".

Preugschas notes the international scientific community, including the World Animal Health Organization and the World Health Organization, agree H1N1 Influenza A is not a food safety issue and consumers and international trading partners need to know the virus is not transmitted through pork products.

Tomorrow, to demonstrate the safety of pork the Canadian Pork Council and Pork Marketing Canada have planned a pork barbecue on Parliament Hill.

 
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