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Government of Canada Invests in Research for Beef, Pork and Dairy Sectors
February 12, 2016 – Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Lawrence MacAulay announced today that the Government of Canada is investing up to $709,138 in a project with the University of Prince Edward Island's Atlantic Veterinary College (AVC) to create diagnostic tests that will make it easier to safeguard the health of Canada's bovine and swine herds.
The college's research team will develop new tests that are faster, more sensitive and less costly to detect bovine and swine viruses. A key goal is to create tests that can identify multiple viruses from a single sample. Researchers will target animal diseases that carry the highest economic risk in the global marketplace, including swine enteric viruses and bovine respiratory and enteric viruses.
Disease testing is part of the national assurance systems Canada uses to back the safety and quality of its meat products in markets around the world. The new tests developed under this project will be used by veterinary laboratories across Canada.
- The beef and pork sectors account for almost $15 billion in farm cash receipts and $8 billion in export sales.
- The pork industry depends on exports for almost 60 per cent of their sales, with the largest export markets being the United States, Japan, Russia, China and Mexico.
- The Canadian dairy industry has $6.07 billion in farm cash receipts with $15.4 billion in sales in the processing sector.
- This investment is being made under the Growing Forward 2 AgriMarketing Program – Assurance Systems stream. The stream supports developing national assurance systems or standards for food safety, animal and plant health, market attribute/quality and traceability.
"Canada's reputation for safe, high quality meat and dairy products is one that is backed by science and helps to keep our sector competitive and profitable. This partnership with one of Canada's leading veterinary colleges will ensure our industry continues to be recognized domestically and internationally for producing high quality products."
- Lawrence MacAulay, Minister Agriculture and Agri-Food
"This investment in the Atlantic Veterinary College at UPEI supports the critical role our regional institution plays in health management of food-producing animals, effective disease surveillance, and prosperity of our key industries. We thank the Government of Canada for this funding and for recognizing the role that innovative diagnostic advances within veterinary medicine play in strengthening the overall well-being of our nation."
- Dr. Alaa Abd-El-Aziz, President and Vice-Chancellor of UPEI
"With this generous support from the Government of Canada, Diagnostic Services at AVC will develop a new testing method that will screen and test for more pathogens in a more efficient and cost effective manner. This project will strengthen our ability to monitor for, and prevent the spread of, diseases that may affect the beef, dairy, and pork export industries in Atlantic Canada."
- Dr. Greg Keefe, Dean, Atlantic Veterinary College
- AgriMarketing Program (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada)
- Growing Forward 2 (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada)
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