Canadian ASF Compartment Program

 What is Compartmentalization?

Compartmentalization is a targeted risk management approach tailored to specific diseases. It hinges on stringent biosecurity measures, regular surveillance, and traceability within a closed network.

Its primary objective is to instill trust in the health status of animals among global trading partners, thus facilitating ongoing trade and ensuring business continuity, regardless of disease status and associated zones.


What is the Canadian ASF Compartment Program?

The program aims to establish compartments that are free from ASF and demonstrate rigorous biosecurity, surveillance, and traceability measures to prevent the introduction of the virus.

The Canadian Compartment Program comprises three key elements:

National Standard: The Standard outlines the specific requirements and actions that compartments, and associated facilities must meet.

Framework: The Framework defines the roles and responsibilities of different entities involved in the program, including the compartment operator, compartment administrator, and the competent veterinary authority (CFIA).

Compartment Operator Program (COP): The COP details the requirements, strategies and approaches the compartment will employ to fulfill the national standards, ensuring compliance with the Canadian ASF Compartment Program.

Abreviated summary of Canadian ASF Compartment Program Requirements



Compartmentalization – How does it work?

A compartment is defined by the World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH) as an animal sub-population contained in one or more establishments (including farm establishments and related functional units) with a specific animal health status maintained under a common biosecurity management system, that separates it from other animal populations.

A compartment can count multiple type of establishments:

  • Premises (PID sites),
  • Associated Facilities: A compartment associated facility may be associated with one or more compartments owned and operated by different individuals or companies.
    • Slaughter Establishments
    • Feed Mills
    • Truck Wash

The infographic below demonstrates how two different compartments, farms and associated facilities, can move pigs, feed and transport trailers, between compartments, disease free and infected zones.


What is African Swine Fever?

  • African swine fever (ASF) is a viral disease that only infects pigs. Domestic and wild pigs are equally susceptible to ASF virus.

  • Humans cannot catch ASF from infected pigs nor can they contract the disease by eating meat from a pig infected with ASF.

  • ASF is not in Canada, unfortunately it continues to spread around the globe and poses a significant risk to the health of the Canadian swine herd, the pork industry and the Canadian economy.
  • No treatment exists for ASF and currently there are no registered ASF vaccines in North America.
  • The disease can spread through direct or indirect contact, contact with other infected pigs or pig products, as well as contaminated farm equipment, feed and clothing. The virus is not spread through aerosol transmission.
  • The virus is extremely lethal for pigs and can cause high mortality in the affected swine population.
  • The virus can persist for a long time in the environment, carcasses and in a variety of pork products.
  • ASF is recognized by the global veterinary community as one of the major world threats to pig production, food security and food inflation.


What is the impact of finding ASF in Canada?

While African Swine Fever (ASF) has never been found in Canada, its ongoing global spread presents a substantial threat to both the Canadian pork sector and the national economy.

The introduction of ASF to Canada would have severe consequences for the pork sector, given that approximately 70% of our production is exported. The initial reaction to such an outbreak would involve an immediate halt in the export of both pork products and live pigs.


Why develop the Canadian ASF Compartment Program?

A Canadian ASF Compartment Program is a critical tool in protecting the Canadian pork industry from ASF while supporting international trade, business continuity, and disease prevention.

There is a need for multiple and diverse business continuity, risk assessment and market access tools.

  • A compartment is an effective way of preventing ASF from entering farms and production systems.
  • Our current market access tools are inadequate to rapidly minimize the impact of border closures and market disruptions.
  • Zoning agreements are important market access tools but do not provide a comprehensive risk management solution, as they are implemented only after the disease is discovered in the country.
  • Zoning is primarily a disease control and stop movement mechanism rather than a market access tool.

The benefits of the Canadian ASF Compartment Program

The benefits of compartmentalization expand beyond the desire to control the immediate threat of ASF and may support producers in preventing the introduction of new diseases.

Did you know?




Compartments Webinar 


ASF National Compartments Program Webinar and Consultation

On March 16, 2022 from 1 p.m. (EST) to 3 p.m. (EST), the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the Canadian Pork Council will be hosting a live webinar regarding the upcoming consultation for the proposed National Standards and Framework on a National Compartment Program (NCP) to mitigate the risk of African swine fever (ASF) and support business continuity should ASF be detected in Canada. A link to register for the webinar will be sent next week.

ASF has never been found in Canada, but it continues to spread internationally and poses a significant risk to the Canadian pork industry and the Canadian economy. The CFIA has recently supported the development of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) guidelines for ASF compartmentalization and is in the process of supporting industry with the development of an ASF NCP for swine in anticipation of ASF being discovered in Canada.

The consultation opens March 18, 2022 and stakeholders have until June 16, 2022 to submit feedback. Feedback and comments can be submitted after March 18 to  


Step by step of ASF Compartimentalization Program Webinar and Consultation 

  1. Watch  the ASF Compartmentalization Webinar presented by the CPC’s  Dr. Egan Brockhoff and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA)’s Dr. Penny Greenwood
  2. Review the OIE Guidelines on compartimentilization for ASF
  3. Read Dr. Brockhoff and Dr. Greenwood’s presentation, Canada’s National Compartmentalization Program (NCP) for African swine fever (ASF)
  4. Scan Dr. Brockhoff’s presentation at the September 20, 2021 Leman Conference
  5. Read the proposed standards: Canada's National Standards for African Swine Fever Compartment  (available March 18 2022)
  6. Review the proposed framework for the responsibilities of all the various players in an ASF compartment program: Canada's National Framework for African Swine Fever Compartments (available March 18 2022)
  7. Share your thoughts: Canada’s proposed national standards and framework for African swine fever compartments (available March 18 2022)