The Canadian pork industry owes Arnold Van Ginkel a debt if gratitude for putting the industry's health and the interests of his own farm second.

Van Ginkel’s herd was placed under a CFIA quarantine on April 28, after he voluntarily reported influenza-like symptoms in his herd coupled with the fact that a worker in his barn had recently visited Mexico and had suffered flu-like symptoms. It was later determined that the livestock had been infected with the Type A H1N1 influenza virus.

To address overcrowding issues that were certain to result from the quarantine, the Van Ginkel herd underwent a limited cull on May 8. Herman Simons, Chairman of Alberta Pork, explains that while the cull and the whole Type A H1N1 influenza issue has had a “huge impact on his (Van Ginkel’s) emotional state, overall he’s fairly strong and holding up pretty well. We’re very proud of him.”

"In addition to Arnold Van Ginkel, we would like to thank Alberta Pork, Alberta Agriculture and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency for their quick and efficient handling of the impending overcrowding issue on the farm,” says Jurgen Preugschas, chair of the Canadian Pork Council. “Thanks are also due to Van Ginkel’s neighbors and industry partners for their ongoing support of the Van Ginkel family and for respecting and protecting the family's privacy until they were ready to be publicly identified.”

CPC fully supports the work of our federal government to quarantine the farm and to continue testing to determine when the quarantine can be lifted, Preugschas adds. Canada is committed to full transparency and will continue to share the most current scientific information with the public.

Source: The Canadian Pork Council

Visit Pork Magazine's H1N1 Influenza special section for the most up-to-date information on the outbreak.