The investment will be used in several ways to improve the standards of animal health and welfare for swine, such as:
- New ways of feeding piglets to help provide immunity from diseases
- Determining best methods for the classification of pork based on quality attributes to provide more choice for Canadian consumers
- Examining long-distance transport effects on the health and welfare of early weaned pigs.
Swine Innovation Porc, a non-profit corporation committed to facilitating research in the Canadian swine sector, will contribute up to an additional CA$5.8 million (m) to the Swine Research and Development Cluster for a total value of up to CA$18.5m.
The Canadian Agricultural Partnership is a five-year, CA$3bn investment by federal, provincial and territorial governments to strengthen the agriculture and agri-food sector. The partnership includes programs and activities to enhance the competitiveness of the sector through research, science and innovation.
According to agriculture minister Lawrence MacAulay, the funds will enable Canada’s pork industry to continue to sustainably produce high-quality products.
“Pork farmers rely on research and innovation to implement new practices and tools that help them improve their sustainability, while remaining competitive,” said MacAulay.
“Today’s investment will ensure Canada’s pork industry continues to sustainably produce high-quality products at home, and remain a top exporter in the world, which is good for our economy and for creating good, well-paid jobs for Canadians across the country.”
The move was also welcomed by the Canadian Pork Council, who said the swine sector would benefit enormously from this investment.
“Producers rely on science-based research to guide the innovations that help the industry grow,” said Canadian Pork Council’s vice-chair René Roy. “This funding is essential, so that the Canadian pork industry can continue to compete with other important producers in the world, such as the United States and the European Union, and set the standard for wholesome pork.”
Canada is the ninth-largest pork producer in the world, representing approximately 2% of global production. In 2016, Canada exported approximately 70% of overall Canadian hog production, with a value of CA$3.8bn.