African swine fever was a major topic discussed at the Manitoba Swine Seminar held this week in Winnipeg.
Dr. Scott Zaari is the province's chief veterinary officer and spoke during the event about how Manitoba is preparing for a potential case of the deadly pig disease.
"The need to control the diseased animal, which is a led response by the CFIA, and of course the province goes into a partnership approach with that as well, but the nuance and the critical component for everyone to remember, it's not just about managing diseased animal control, it's about the healthy herd and what happens to that when we don't have a market for them.
"Manitoba is definitely trying to be a leader in that aspect, and thinking outside the box and not necessarily just focusing on the disease and we have to work with industry on that."
Zaari also responded to questions about a potential vaccine being developed.
"This isn't a new disease, this is something we've seen the 1920's and so if you talk to vaccine researchers today they're going to be saying 'we've been looking at this for years', so it's not just because there's a higher prevalence of disease outbreaks, that research is just starting."
Zaari says work to create a vaccine has been ongoing for decades.
"It's a complex virus and it makes it difficult to create a vaccine ... If we have a commercial vaccine, that does take years."
There have been no confirmed cases of African swine fever in North America.
Zaari says he can't give a percentage of the likelihood of the disease arriving in Canada, but he is preparing as if it will arrive someday.