News release: Canadian Wild Pig Summit

News Release

Wild Pig Experts Gather to Share Best Practices to Combat Invasive Wild Pig Populations in Canada

Brandon, MB – Animal Health Canada, in conjunction with Assiniboine Community College and Squeal on Pigs Manitoba/Manitoba Pork, kicks off a Canadian Wild Pig Summit that brings together experts from Canada, Europe, and the United States to share best practices to help control the wild pig population in Canada.

Wild pigs are considered an invasive species in Canada. They cause ecological damage, wildlife habitat destruction, crop damage, and human safety concerns. They also spread and can be a reservoir for diseases that pose a risk to wildlife and livestock.

The biggest concern today is the potential spread of African Swine Fever (ASF), a federally reportable swine disease. African Swine Fever currently isn’t present in Canada. However, if it was introduced in any pig in Canada, it would have a massive impact on the health of the Canadian swine herd, trade of Canadian pork products, and both the federal and provincial economy.

“We’ve been working with government, industry, and associations on ASF prevention and response planning and preparedness in Canada for the last few years,” says Colleen McElwain, Animal Health Canada Executive Director. “Preventing and controlling the spread of ASF in Canada’s wild pig population is one of our biggest challenges. This is why this event is so important, so we can learn from others and continue to be proactive with our prevention planning.”

The two-day Summit gathers experts in control and eradication of wild pigs, wild pig behaviour, wildlife/invasive species management and legislative and program specialists to share their knowledge with almost 80 attendees from across Canada.

“Invasive wild pigs are an issue that impacts many sectors, partners, and communities, and we are proud that Manitoba has taken a leadership role in recognizing and acting upon this threat,” says Dr. Wayne Lees, a veterinarian and project coordinator for Squeal on Pigs Manitoba. “Having opportunities to collaborate on solutions and to develop tools and resources will bring us closer to our goal of controlling this invasive species in Canada, as well as both protecting both our environment and our economy.”

On April 22, an evening reception to welcome participants will be held at Assiniboine College. It has been working on ways to track wild pigs and build strategies that will better protect the land and environment and mitigate the risk to the pork industry.

“As we continue to respond to industry needs and challenges with the goal of improving sustainability and mitigating climate change, one of our key ongoing applied research projects is focused on solutions to manage this emerging invasive species,” said Tim Hore, Dean, Russ Edwards School of Agriculture and Environment at Assiniboine College. “With this work ongoing, we are pleased to be hosting this conference, an opportunity to get like minds in a room to work collaboratively toward a solution that will protect our agricultural ecosystems.”

The Canadian Wild Pig Summit is one of the activities partially funded by the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s African Swine Fever Industry Preparedness Program that supports planning efforts to prevent and control the spread of African swine fever through wild pigs.


Animal Health Canada is the only national organization that brings together industry, federal, provincial, and territorial partners to provide collaborative guidance on a cohesive, functional, and responsive farmed animal health and welfare system in Canada. For more information, visit

The Manitoba Invasive Swine Eradication Project, later rebranded as Squeal on Pigs Manitoba, was announced in January 2022 as a partnership between the Government of Canada, the Province of Manitoba, and Manitoba Pork, through funding from the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership. For more information, visit

Assiniboine College has been providing exceptional learning experiences for more than 60 years. It offers more than 75 certificate, diploma and post-graduate programs across a variety of disciplines and delivers apprenticeship programming in a range of skilled trades. Its campuses are located on the traditional territories of Treaty No. 1 and Treaty No. 2, the shared traditional lands of Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, Dene and Anishinabek/ Ojibwe peoples, and the homeland of the Red River Métis. We acknowledge their welcome to the students who seek knowledge here.

For further information:

Tanya Frye
Communications Manager
Animal Health Canada
(613) 302-2671

Joey Dearborn
Communications and Website Coordinator
Manitoba Pork