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East-West Biosecurity Divide

The federal government seems to be on the verge of announcing money to run an around-the-clock biosecurity centre at West Hawk Lake near the Manitoba-Ontario border.

West Hawk has been chosen as the dividing point between Western and Eastern Canada should there be an outbreak of a foreign animal disease.

Canadians hope to convince trading partners that when there’s a disease outbreak, they could limit the automatic bans they place on Canadian livestock, meat, poultry and poultry products to one side of West Hawk.

Curtiss Littlejohn of the Ontario Pork Producers Marketing Board has been involved in negotiations for the biosecurity centre for years.

An application for funding was filed by the West Hawk Lake Group, which is a subsidiary of the Canadian Animal Health Coalition.

“Assistant Deputy Minister Suzie Miller (of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada) says funding has been approved,” Littlejohn said.

The centre could be downgraded to “more of a monitoring” station if and when full traceability systems for all livestock and poultry are in place, Littlejohn said.

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