Hello Heritage Farmer, and all old chums in the Club in UK. Richard Lutwyche has alerted me to this post.
I am based in Montral and will be pleased to assist if I can. I have spent 48 years shipping pigs all over the world from UK, including to Canada. Having been away from UK for a bit, and appalled by the dreadful disease news from home, I cannot vouch for the exact current situation, but shipments of pigs to Canada will involve the followng requirements:
1. Normally, the source country must have been free of FMD for 2 years from the last outbreak before shipment can be made. This can be varied by the importing country, but I expect that Canada will follow these OIE rules.
2. Canada is peculiar in that pigs for export must be born and reared in bird proof buildings, right up to export date. Not easy for most GOS breeders who do all this outdoors.
3. You can send one pig if you wish, but the most economic loading is 40 heads at 40 kgs on a two deck airline belly pallet in a wide bodied aircraft. If any one pig exceeds 70 kgs the shoulder height is such that you can only single deck.
4. Select piglets 4 weeks before shipment and allow 3 weeks for all blood sampling etc to be completed.
5. Keep the number of sources to a minimum. Every extra farm involves another vet practice, transport, and separation in the pallett. Obviously you need genetic variation which may be difficult to find on a small number of sources, and all must meet the rearing conditions above.
6. Do not ship pregnant animals. This first litter is usually a failure because the dam will not have been in her new environment throughout pregnancy to impart immunities to her litter.
7. You must provide ad lib water during transit. I can tell you how to design and build the necessary pallets and water system.
This is enough to be going on with. As you can see, it ain’t trivial. You can contact me at email@example.com or weekday tel in Canada: 514-631-1755. The best source of assistance, current protocols, DEFRA contacts etc., in UK will be the Britsih Livestock Genetics Consortium. Marcus Bates of BPA is a member. See http://www.britishlivestockgenetics.com
Keep up the good work!