Fédération des producteurs de porcs du Québec offers reassurance to the public regarding the risk of swine flu contamination of livestock



    LONGUEUIL, QC, April 27 /CNW Telbec/ - The Fédération des producteurs de
porcs du Québec (FPPQ) wishes to reassure the public that Mexican swine flu
(influenza) does not affect pigs in Quebec. It has absolutely no effect on the
safety of the pork produced here.
    Quebec pig farms are, in fact, well-protected from this type of
infection. Maintenance of high standards of cleanliness and sanitary
conditions on working farms, rigorous bio-safety protocols, and adequate
ventilation and sanitation during transport all substantially reduce the
danger of any virus spreading in hogs. Since the most recent epidemic of
circovirus (a disease transmitted between pigs), pig producers have
intensified their bio-safety measures and are now even better equipped to
withstand this sort of threat. "There are no grounds for concern," says
Sylvain Quessy, Director of the Department of Pathology and Microbiology at
the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the Université de Montréal. "Nothing
would lead us to believe this new viral strain can spread to Canadian
livestock. Furthermore, this strain has not been isolated from hogs either in
Quebec or elsewhere in Canada."
    At the present time, all indicators are that the disease spreads between
humans, and there has been no sign of illness in Canadian hogs. Nonetheless,
the FPPQ is carefully monitoring all its producers for any suspicious cases.
"There has been no sign of the disease spreading into Quebec farms," said
Jean-Guy Vincent, president of the FPPQ. "We have extremely stringent
standards for quality assurance, but we are keeping a close eye on the
situation and are working in collaboration with provincial authorities to
identify any abnormalities which might appear."
    The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has confirmed that swine flu
cannot be transmitted by the consumption of pork.

    ABOUT THE FPPQ

    The Fédération des producteurs de porcs du Québec represents the
interests of 3 900 producers from 12 regional syndicates. Pork producers raise
7.5 million hogs annually generating 1.5 billion dollars in revenue benefiting
every region in Québec and employing 24 000 people. Sixty percent of pork
produced in Québec is exported to over 75 countries. www.leporcduquebec.qc.ca




For further information:

For further information: Stéphanie Fortin, Public Affairs Advisor, (450)
679-0540, extension 8542, sfortin@upa.qc.ca; Source: Fédération des
producteurs de porcs du Québec

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