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Canada's proposed National Standards for African Swine Fever Compartments

This page is part of the consultation on Canada's national standards and framework for African swine fever (ASF) compartments. The consultation will be open from March 18, 2022 to June 16, 2022. Input gathered through this consultation will help shape Canada's national standards and framework for ASF compartments.

On this page

Introduction

The national requirements that laid the foundation for Canada's National Compartmentalization Program (NCP) for African swine fever (ASF) are detailed across 2 documents:

  1. The national standards
    Details requirements that the operator-level ASF compartment program must meet. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) will assess all submitted operator-level/establishment ASF compartment programs against these requirements.
  2. The framework
    The framework document details all of the requirements for the administration and implementation of an ASF compartment program. Examples of requirements found in the framework document include (but are not limited to):
    • roles and responsibilities of the various parties involved in an ASF compartment program
    • procedural administrative requirements related to appeal, suspension, revocation
    • compliance verification requirements such as credentials of third parties involved in the program, frequencies and nature of audits, as well as required documentation
    • procedural steps and timelines for applications

The requirements outlined in both the national standards and framework must be met by all associated parties in order for CFIA to recognize and endorse an ASF compartment program.

The national standards and framework requirements will be reviewed at a minimum annually, or sooner as required, based on new scientific information, international guidelines, or by the consensus of a review panel.

A third component, the Compartment Operators Program (COP) completes the suite of requirements necessary for the NCP. This component will be mentioned but, as it is not one of the foundational elements, it will not be discussed in this consultation. Once compartment operators are enrolled in the NCP, their compliance with the national standards, the framework and the COP is mandatory.

General

Biosecurity

Live pigs

1. Live pigs from a source other than a compartment must be moved to and housed in a dedicated building on a compartment premises or at another premises for a pre-compartment entry quarantine.

  1. Signage must be posted that clearly identifies the pre-compartment entry quarantine, denotes the applicable restrictions, and prevents unauthorized entries. If housed in a dedicated building on the compartment premises, once the pigs are "released from quarantine", this signage can be removed
  2. The operation of the pre-compartment entry quarantine must meet the management and operational requirements of the compartment detailed in these standards
  3. All people, pigs, and things that move out of the pre-compartment entry quarantine and enter the compartment must meet the requirements for entry into the compartment (further defined below in these standards)

2. Starting from the time the last pig enters the pre-compartment entry quarantine, all the live pigs must remain in the quarantine for a minimum of 30 days, during which time no live pig can be added.

3. All pigs from a source other than a compartment must be subject to antigen detection testing 21 days or more after the start of the isolation. No pig can be released from quarantine until test results for all pigs are confirmed negative.

A compartment will be suspended if it is determined that any premises received non-compartment pigs without following standards 1, 2, and 3 as written.

4. A mortality threshold must be established for the pre-compartment entry quarantine (see surveillance standards on details of how this is to be done). The threshold is based on the established threshold for the same production type of pigs in the compartment that they will be entering. All pig mortalities in a pre-compartment entry quarantine that exceed the mortality threshold pigs in the pre-compartment isolation area must be sampled within 48 hours of death, and the samples sent for ASF antigen detection testing.

Semen and semen collection centres

5. Boar semen introduced from outside the compartment must be collected, processed, and stored in a CFIA-approved artificial insemination (AI) centre.

  1. The centre must be operated in a manner equivalent to the risk mitigation measures outlined in the silver protocol in the 2021 Canadian Swine Biosecurity Standard (CSBS) applicable to such an operation
  2. All boars entering the AI centre must be subject to an ASF antigen detection test on farm, with negative results 30 days prior to pre-entry into isolation at an AI centre approved by the CFIA
  3. All boars entering the AI centre must be subject to an ASF antigen detection test after 21 days in isolation at the centre, with negative results
  4. All boars at the AI centre must be subject to an ASF antigen detection test each week, with negative test results

Embryos

6. Porcine embryos introduced from outside of the compartment must be:

  1. collected and handled in accordance with the International Embryo Technology Society (IETS) protocols
  2. fertilized using semen that meets the requirements for semen detailed in these standards
  3. collected from a donor sow isolated from other pigs for at least 30 days, unless all pigs in the group are subject to testing below
  4. collected from a donor sow subject to an ASF antigen detection test with negative results no more than 30 days prior to collection, and again 21 days after collection

Water supply

7. If the water for the compartment is sourced from a drilled well, the wellhead must be raised above the level of the surrounding land and the land around the wellhead must be graded so that it slopes down and away.

8. If the water for the compartment is sourced from a hand dug well or surface water, the water must be subject to a treatment that is approved by CFIA. All conditions and regular maintenance that are necessary to ensure the efficacy of the treatment must be put in place. Regular monitoring appropriate for the specific treatment being used must be undertaken (for example daily monitoring of chlorine levels).

Building requirements

9. Each compartment premises must establish a controlled access zone (CAZ) and a restricted access zone (RAZ). The compartment must have signage that indicates the boundaries of the CAZ.

  1. If necessary, in order for the compartment to comply with various requirements for movement of people and vehicles, the compartment may consider the following approach:
    1. The CAZ is delineated by the building walls and includes the dirty side of the Danish entry. In addition, any external feed bins would be included in the CAZ. Signage of the delineation necessary to guide persons or vehicles is required
    2. The RAZ would start on the clean side of the Danish entry

10. Pigs within the compartment must be housed in fully enclosed buildings with solid outer/perimeter walls on hard, constructed slab or slatted floors and a solid ceiling.

11. All points of ingress and egress from buildings in the CAZ and the RAZ must have solid doors with locking capabilities.

12. All external opening doors in the CAZ and the RAZ must be closed and locked when not in use.

13. External opening doors in the CAZ and the RAZ that are unlocked must be monitored to ensure that unauthorized access cannot occur without someone present or being alerted (such as a worker in close proximity, or an electronic or physical system that notifies a worker in an adjacent area).

Feed

14. Within the compartment, feed and feed ingredients stored outside of a structure must be contained in completely enclosed storage containers such that feed would not be accessible to wild swine.

15. Compartments are only permitted to feed approved ingredients and feeds that are registered as required under the Feed Act andregulations.

16. Feed brought into the compartment must not contain any ingredient of porcine origin as part of their formulation, other than highly processed vitamins and minerals. Feed mills supplying a compartment must prevent cross contamination between a compartment feed and any feed with ingredients of porcine or unknown origin; flushing and sequencing may be used.

17. Feed mills utilized by the compartment must be certified under the Animal Nutrition Association of Canada's FeedAssure® program or must have established Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) programs to ensure product quality with clear specifications for the production process, and must be subject to an annual independent audit.

18. A compartment must perform and submit a risk assessment in accordance with the entry and exposure assessments detailed in Article 2.1.4. of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) Terrestrial Animal Health Code, as part of their initial application. This assessment must identify all bulk feed ingredients that may be used in the compartment and identify the pathways that could pose a risk of introduction of the ASF virus. The risk assessment must consider that the compartment will withstand the risk pressure of ASF being present in either domestic or wild swine populations in Canada (or both) without any changes to risk mitigation measures. The assessment must detail risk mitigation measures for each risk pathway identified such that the overall conclusion is that the feed supply to the compartment presents a low, very low, or negligible risk of introduction of the ASF virus. Where possible, the risk mitigation measures should be supported by published science. Verification steps must be proposed in relation to some of the mitigation measures for which published science does not exist. Examples of risk pathways and risk mitigation measures and further discussion of how this assessment may be approached will be available to the person performing the risk assessment for the compartment.

Vehicles

19. Vehicles and people entering the compartment must be managed in a manner equivalent to the risk mitigation measures listed in "silver" protocols in the 2021 Canadian Swine Biosecurity Standard (CSBS).

20. Vehicles exiting a compartment must be cleaned, disinfected, and dried prior to re-entering a compartment.

21. The cleaning and virus inactivation steps applied to swine transport vehicles entering or re-entering a compartment must have verification measures that are subject to an external audit.

22. Drivers of live pig transport vehicles are not permitted to enter the RAZ associated with the building structures of the compartment without following established protocols for entry of people.

23. Non-compartment pigs must not be loaded on a transport vehicle containing compartment pigs. Vehicles transporting compartment pigs for slaughter may only go to another compartment site prior to going directly to the processing establishment.

24. The compartment must have a well-marked central repository outside of the CAZ for all service providers to deposit documentation (invoices for deliveries such as feed, propane, etc.) in order to avoid service providers' vehicles approaching the RAZ.

People

25. Compartment employees not residing on the premises must not raise or keep any pigs at their site of residence.

26. All persons entering the CAZ must don clean or dedicated foot wear (including, but not limited to, boot covers).

27. All persons entering the RAZ must use a Danish entry.

28. Visitors entering the RAZ must be met and accompanied by someone that knows all biosecurity protocols for the site prior to entry.

Equipment

29. Unless otherwise specifically mentioned in these standards, all equipment entering the RAZ must be clean and disinfected.

30. All equipment (other than the trailer and components integrated into the trailer) used to wash/disinfect the RAZ should be dedicated to the compartment. If it is not dedicated, then the compartment must clean and disinfect the RAZ in 1 of the 2 following ways:

  1. Starting the disinfection process at the point in the RAZ furthest away from the entry point and applying the disinfectant incrementally towards the entry point, keeping all of the washing equipment (hoses, fittings, sprayers) and the washing personnel behind the wet edge of the applied disinfectant
  2. Disinfect the RAZ after the washing equipment has been removed

31. Bedding removal equipment (examples include tractor, skid steer) must be dedicated to the compartment, and cleaned and disinfected prior to entering the RAZ.

Deadstock

32. Each premises in the compartment must have a pickup site/bin/container for deadstock that is located outside the CAZ (or on the delimiting line of the CAZ), or there must be a separate CAZ defined for deadstock pickup.

33. The deadstock pickup site on each premises of the compartment must be a minimum distance of 30 metres from the RAZ.

34. The deadstock receptacle used by each premises of the compartment must be enclosed or covered other than when empty or being loaded or unloaded.

35. The deadstock pickup vehicle servicing any premises of a compartment must not contain any non-compartment pigs (or tissues of non-compartment pigs) when collecting deadstock from any part of the compartment.

36. The compartment must have either of the following:

  1. Dedicated equipment in which the deadstock is stored and transported to other sites for disposal
  2. Specific routes within the CAZ to the deadstock pickup site to avoid cross contamination with other equipment used within the CAZ; a route dedicated for the deadstock pickup service to approach the deadstock pickup site; and a written agreement with the deadstock pickup service to have no pickups from non-compartment premises prior to servicing a compartment site on the same day

37. Composting of deadstock is permitted on a compartment premises as long as all biosecurity requirements for vehicles and people are followed.

Manure

38. Manure generated from non-compartment pigs must not be brought within the geographic limits of compartment premises (the property that has been specifically described in the compartment application) and must not be spread on any land that is included on the site plan submitted in the compartment application.

39. All equipment associated with the handling/pickup/transportation of manure generated on the compartment premises, including the truck, pump, etc. must be cleaned and disinfected prior to entering a compartment.

Emergency plan

40. In the application to become a compartment, the compartment operator must include a description of an emergency plan that identifies how each premises will deal with the occurrence of an unexpected event threatening the integrity of the compartment (such as malfunctions in electrical, ventilation, water supply, natural disasters), including an action plan to address any biosecurity breaches that have occurred in addressing such situations.

Surveillance

The loss or destruction of a tissue or blood sample that is no longer in the control of the compartment owner/operator (for example by a courier or laboratory) must be documented, and this documentation must be presented during an audit. If adequately documented, the administrator will not consider the compartment to be non-compliant in these situations and thus they will not affect the assessment of the compartment's status.

41. Each production stage of pigs (boars, lactation, gestation, nursery, grower, finisher) must be assigned to a separate health unit. A health unit can be defined as a pen, room, barn or site.

42. A surveillance plan specific to the individual compartment must be developed by an epidemiologist or someone with knowledge of swine production and health using an epidemiological model. The plan must substantiate that the combination of all components of the individual farm level surveillance meets the following prescribed outcome parameters:

  1. A minimum 95% probability of detecting at least one positive pig if ASFV is present in the compartment at or above the chosen design prevalence within 14 days
  2. A minimum 95% probability that ASFV is absent within the compartment if ASVF is present in the compartment at or above the chosen design prevalence

43. Any change to a compartment surveillance plan must be verified by an epidemiologist or someone with knowledge of swine production and health using an epidemiological model as continuing to meet the outcome parameters for surveillance mentioned in these national standards. The administrator and CFIA must be notified and jointly approve the change.

44. Daily mortality for each health unit must be recorded. Lactating units must keep separate data for sows and piglets.

45. The compartment must develop and maintain a baseline mortality rate for each health unit based on historical data from at least the previous year's worth of batches of pigs from the same source/flow comprising the health unit.

  1. The baseline mortality rate is to be based on a 7 day observational time period. Either a static or rolling observational period may be used; however, once the choice is made by the compartment, the chosen type of observational time period must be used consistently throughout the compartment and over time
  2. If pigs from the same flow/source are relocated to a different barn, then the baseline mortality rate established for these pigs in a previous barn must be used until such time as another baseline mortality rate is established
  3. If pigs from a new flow/source are introduced into a barn that previously housed pigs from another flow/source, then the baseline mortality rate established for the previous pig flow/source in that location must be used until such time as another baseline mortality rate is established
  4. If pigs from 2 different flow/sources are mixed into one health unit, then the historical lowest baseline mortality rate must be used until such time as another baseline mortality rate is established

46. The compartment surveillance plan must use the baseline mortality rate to inform the mortality sampling threshold in each specific health unit within the compartment. If this mortality threshold (in other words, number of pigs dying during an observational time period) is met, it will trigger ASF testing of mortalities above the threshold. In lactating areas, a separate mortality threshold must be established for sows and piglets. The initial epidemiological analysis of the compartment surveillance plan must establish/calculate the sensitivity and specificity of the thresholds that the compartment selects for their surveillance plan. This analysis must be submitted in the surveillance plan included in the initial compartment application.

  1. During each and every individual 7 day observational time period, the first and second pig that dies beyond the established mortality threshold must be sampled within 48 hours and tested for ASF within 7 days

    In addition:

  2. If pigs within a health unit demonstrate clinical signs considered unusual or unexpected by the attending veterinarian, 2 pigs demonstrating such signs (or 1 pig demonstrating signs and cohort) must be sampled (antemortem or postmortem) within 48 hours of the pig's death and submitted for ASF testing within 7 days
  3. Pigs that are presented for postmortem from the same source/flow/health unit and meet the following criteria, must be sampled within 48 hours of the pig's death and submitted for ASF testing within 7 days:
    1. Any pig with hemorrhagic lesions
    2. Any pig that died suddenly and for which the definitive cause of death is not determined on gross postmortem examination

Traceability

47. Surveillance samples and their associated ASF test results must be traceable back to the health unit of origin for which a mortality threshold was established and for which the threshold was surpassed. The date of sampling must be recorded in order to reconcile with the observation period during which the mortality threshold was surpassed.

48. Within 48 hours of receipt of a pig from a premises with a different premises identification (PID) number, the compartment must report the following information to PigTrace:

  1. the PID number of the departure site and of the destination site
  2. the date and time that the conveyance carrying the pig arrived at the destination site
  3. the number of pigs and pig carcasses unloaded
  4. the licence plate number or, if there is no licence plate, other identification of the conveyance

49. Within 48 hours of sending a pig from a PID number within the compartment to another premises within the compartment with a different PID number, the compartment must report the following information to PigTrace:

  1. the PID number of the departure site and of the recipient site
  2. the date and time that the conveyance carrying the pigs arrived at the destination site
  3. the number of pigs loaded
  4. the identification number on any approved tag applied to the pigs; and
  5. the licence plate number or, if there is no licence plate, other identification of the conveyance

Traceability and prevention of contamination during processing

Establishments that are dedicated to processing only pigs from ASF compartments are required to comply with the following standards in this section below: numbers 1, 2, 3, and 16. Establishments processing non-compartment pigs and pigs from ASF compartments must meet all of the standards below.

  1. All establishments receiving compartment pigs must have a mechanism in place to prevent entry of any unscheduled transport vehicles containing non-compartment pigs onto the premises.
  2. When scheduling compartment pigs for slaughter and processing, the establishment must:
    1. verify the herd mark of the premises of origin/pigs is associated with an approved ASF compartment; and
    2. schedule the shipment from an ASF compartment for a day and time when compartment pigs will be received and processed at the establishment
  3. Upon arrival at the establishment's guardhouse or gate, the driver must be able to provide confirmation that the pigs in that transport vehicle are from an approved compartment.
  4. At live receiving, a designated employee must:
    1. verify the herd mark(s) on the pigs in the transport vehicle or on the shipping manifest are associated with an approved ASF compartment
    2. direct the transport driver to the appropriate door for unloading compartment pigs
    3. direct receiving staff as to which pens the live compartment pigs are to be housed in
  5. Compartment pigs must be slaughtered within 36 hours of arriving at the establishment.
  6. If live non-compartment pigs are present on the establishment premises at the same time as live compartment pigs, then the herd mark tattoos must be verified on every compartment pig following slaughter.
  7. In establishments that employ a scalding tank and a carcass surface singe, all visible organic material must be removed from the parts of the establishment housing/channeling live pigs prior to the entry of compartment pigs.
  8. Establishments that do not employ a scalding tank and carcass surface singe must complete a full cleaning and disinfection of the parts of the establishment housing/channeling live pigs prior to commencing receiving compartment pigs
  9. All people working in areas of the establishment where live pigs are present must don clean outer wear and cleaned and disinfected footwear prior to conducting work with compartment pigs.
  10. Live non-compartment pigs must not be present in any part of the establishment where live compartment pigs are present unless separated by a solid physical barrier of a height or nature that pigs cannot jump over. Live compartment pigs must be moved through the entire establishment as a block.
  11. If 1 or more unfit non-compartment pigs requiring immediate euthanasia for welfare reasons are received at the establishment while compartment pigs are being slaughtered, either:
    1. the non-compartment pig(s) must be humanely euthanized and sent directly to the inedible rendering area; or
    2. the non-compartment pig(s) must be slaughtered in the block of compartment pigs and the entire block of pigs loses its compartment status
  12. If 1 or more compromised non-compartment pigs are received at the establishment while compartment pigs are being slaughtered/processed, either:
    1. the pig is held and monitored in a location physically separated from the compartment pigs until such time as non-compartment pigs are being slaughtered; or
    2. one of the options listed under the standard for unfit pigs (number 11) is utilized
  13. Areas of the establishment used for cutting, processing, and packaging must be cleaned and disinfected prior to receiving compartment pigs/products.
  14. After stunning and bleeding, the first and last pig of a block of compartment pigs must be identified such that staff can distinguish the block from all blocks of non-compartment carcasses present in the establishment at the same time. Traceability methods must be in place to record information from the first and last carcass in the compartment block that can be cross-referenced and verified with the traceability information collected at the gatehouse, the unloading dock, and the herd mark.
  15. The carcasses of compartment pigs must be stored as a segregated block in coolers by either:
    1. assigning them to dedicated rails recorded in a manner that processing plant staff can verify the rail as holding compartment pigs; or
    2. by a method that makes them visibly distinct from all blocks of non-compartment carcasses present in the establishment at the same time
  16. The establishment must have an electronic inventory system that has the ability to print bar code labels, or a system that can provide equivalent traceability on every box of product.
  17. The establishment must program their inventory/labelling system such that compartment product has an assigned identifier/product code that differentiates it from all non-compartment product.
  18. All packaged compartment products must be identifiable as such at all times.
  19. Non-compartment products being held or for rework may not be present in the cutting area prior to compartment carcasses entering the area. Any product that is held or is to be reworked after the compartment carcasses have exited the area is not to be labelled as a compartment product.
  20. Upon initiation of a block of compartment carcasses entering the cutting area, the employee responsible for the management of the cutting area must verify either through visual or electronic identification that the block of carcasses are compartment carcasses.
  21. Prior to commencing the cutting of compartment carcasses, the employee responsible for the management of the cutting area must instruct the cutting room staff to switch to printing and applying inventory labels that include the assigned identifier for product of a compartment.
  22. Inventory labels indicating compartment product can only be applied to containers (boxes/totes) that exclusively contain compartment product.
  23. Prior to commencing the cutting of non-compartment carcasses, the employee responsible for the management of the cutting area must ensure that the cutting room staff are no longer printing and applying inventory labels that include the assigned identifier for compartment product.
  24. Storage pallets containing compartment product must not contain non-compartment product.
  25. Any box of product that has lost all labeling, or for which all labelling has become illegible and for which it is no longer possible to verify that the contents are solely compartment product, can no longer be represented or moved as compartment product.

Glossary

In the context of this document, the following words have the corresponding definition.

Bulk feed ingredients
Grains, oilseeds, pulses, and straw used as bedding on the compartment premises.
CAZ
Controlled access zone.
Clean(ed)(ing)
Washed with water and detergent such that no organic debris remains visible by the naked eye on any surface.
Compromised animal
As defined in section 136(1) of the Health of Animals Regulations.
Danish entry
An area associated with the entry to the building structure that has at least 2 physical barriers that require physical movement to pass; where clothing and footwear are changed and personal effects can be left (with adequate space to do so); and include a minimum of 2 visual cues that remind people what must be done in the area prior to exiting.
Disinfect(ion)(ed)
Application of an agent validated to inactivate ASF at the appropriate concentration for the appropriate amount of time.
RAZ
Restricted access zone.
Rolling observation time period
Is expressed relative to a specific date and automatically shifts forward with the passage of time. For example, a 7 day rolling observation time period that is expressed specific to a Wednesday would include the 3 days before and the 3 days after (Sunday to Saturday). On Thursday the rolling observation time period would be Monday to Sunday and so on.
Static observation time period
Always starts on the same day and ends on the same day. For example a 7 day static observation time period established with Monday as the first day would describe the time period Monday – Sunday in every cycle.
Unfit animal
As defined in section 136(1) of the Health of Animals Regulations.
Visible
Able to be seen by the naked eye.
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