Canada has been recognized as a global leader in scientific and technical expertise to address problems relating to African swine fever (ASF). The World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) officially recognised the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's (CFIA) National Centre for Foreign Animal Disease (NCFAD) in Winnipeg as a WOAH Reference Laboratory to address ASF. There are only six other laboratories in the world with that designation.
CFIA's Aruna Ambagala was also recognised as Canada's designated expert for ASF.
ASF is a viral disease that does not infect humans, but poses a significant risk to the health of Canadian swine herds, the pork industry, and the Canadian economy.
WOAH Reference Laboratories are internationally recognised centres of expertise on specific animal diseases.
These laboratories play a critical role in the international monitoring and control of animal diseases, in applied research, as well as in providing support for diagnosis, training, and advice to member countries. This designation by the WOAH is a sign of Canada's scientific excellence and demonstrates Canada's increasing ability, capacity, and readiness to detect and respond to an outbreak of ASF as well as support global efforts to manage the disease.
The NCFAD is also designated as a WOAH Reference Laboratory for classical swine fever, highly pathogenic and low pathogenic avian influenza in poultry, and foot-and-mouth disease.