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CANADA - The general manager of Manitoba Pork Council is encouraging truckers returning to Manitoba after delivering pigs to US packing plants to have their trucks and trailers washed and disinfected at accredited truck wash stations in Manitoba, writes Bruce Cochrane.
Under regulations introduced last month to help minimize the risk of spreading Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea all trucks returning to Canada from swine farms in the United States must be sealed at the border and then be properly washed and disinfected in Canada at accredited truck wash stations that meet standards set out by the Canadian Swine Health Board.
Manitoba Pork Council general manager Andrew Dickson notes the hope is that this new requirement will be extended to also include trucks and trailers returning from US packing plants.
Andrew Dickson-Manitoba Pork Council
We have a gap in that trailers coming back from packing plants in the United States do not have to meet this requirement and so we're encouraging them to have their vehicles properly washed and disinfected in stations in Manitoba and we rely on the cooperation of those companies bringing those pigs down there to do that and we've had excellent cooperation on that to date so far.
We're hoping that the federal government will change the regulations on those sealed trucks that are going down to the United States to packing plants and have them follow the same procedures as we do with trailers taking live animals on farm in the US.
We want to emphasise here, the standards for washing in the United States may not be the same as the Canadian Swine Health Board.
Some stations in the United States are very good and some we have some questions about and we can't identify them.
We have no means of telling you which ones are better than others.
The key thing here is to use the accredited stations that we have in Manitoba where we know there will be an inspection done by CFIA to make sure the trucks are properly washed and procedures are being followed.
Dickson says we've had excellent cooperation to date and, he stresses, if we can keep this up we can hold this disease at bay.
TheMeatSite News Desk