The Government of Canada is investing up to $709,138 in a project with the University of Prince Edward Island’s Atlantic Veterinary College (AVC) to create diagnostic tests that will make it easier to keep Canada’s bovine and swine herds healthy.
“Canada’s reputation for safe, high-quality meat and dairy products is one that is backed by science and helps to keep our sector competitive and profitable,” says Lawrence MacAulay, Canada’s Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. “This partnership with one of Canada’s leading veterinary colleges will ensure our industry continues to be recognized domestically and internationally for producing high-quality products.”
According to a Canadian government media release, the college’s research team plans to develop new tests that are faster, more sensitive and less costly to detect bovine and swine viruses.
One of the main goals is to create tests that can identify multiple viruses from a single sample. Researchers plan to target animal diseases that carry the highest economic risk in the global marketplace, including swine enteric viruses and bovine respiratory and enteric viruses.
“This investment in the Atlantic Veterinary College at UPEI supports the critical role our regional institution plays in health management of food-producing animals, effective disease surveillance, and prosperity of our key industries. We thank the Government of Canada for this funding and for recognizing the role that innovative diagnostic advances within veterinary medicine play in strengthening the overall well-being of our nation,” says Dr. Alaa Abd-El-Aziz, president and vice-chancellor of UPEI.
“With this generous support from the Government of Canada, Diagnostic Services at AVC will develop a new testing method that will screen and test for more pathogens in a more efficient and cost effective manner. This project will strengthen our ability to monitor for, and prevent the spread of, diseases that may affect the beef, dairy, and pork export industries in Atlantic Canada,” adds Dr. Greg Keefe, dean, Atlantic Veterinary College.
The new tests developed under this project are expected to be used by veterinary laboratories across Canada.