All appropriate steps are being taken to protect public health and strengthen the pork industry in the United States and Canada, emphasize Canada's Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack.

Analysis conducted by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency of the Type A H1N1 influenza virus re-affirmed that the virus found in swine at a farm in Alberta, Canada, is the human strain. CFIA has fully isolated and contained the situation on the Alberta farm.

"We are confident that Canadian authorities are taking all necessary steps to protect the public and the pork industry," Vilsack says. "The international scientific community agrees that pork is safe. We are urging all countries to remove any restrictions on the movement of pork that are not based on sound science. A strong and respectful relationship is vital for pork industry in both Canada and the United States."

Both countries recognize the scientific consensus of international scientific organizations, such as the OIE and World Health Organization, that clearly state that this influenza epidemic is not a food safety issue. Both countries continue to re-affirm the fact that pork is safe.

"Canada is committed to close scientific cooperation with our American counterparts,"  Ritz notes. "This is a great example of both countries rejecting protectionism and respecting international agreements to keep safe trade moving."

Canada and the United States are collaborating closely to share diagnostic and research information with full transparency to protect human and animal health.
Source: USDA