ASF Focus on ingredients to combat threat

by Editor fleischwirtschaft.com
Thursday, September 06, 2018
Photo: National Pork Board

With the expansion of the current outbreak of African swine fever (ASF) in China, the National Pork Board, along with the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC), the American Association of Swine Veterinarians (AASV), the Swine Health Information Center (SHIC) and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), are working even more closely together to help keep the United States free of ASF and all other foreign animal diseases (FADs). This includes focusing on the importation of feed ingredients, a key area of potential high risk of disease transport.

Thanks to Checkoff-funded research conducted after the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV), swine industry experts now have some peer-reviewed science to rely on when looking at ways to mitigate the current risk posed by ASF in China and other countries. This includes work done on imported feed ingredients.

SHIC-funded research cited shows that viruses do have the potential to travel long distances via feed ingredients, which proves the theoretical ability of a foreign animal disease pathogen to reach US shores. To help prevent this potential risk from becoming a reality, swine industry experts have compiled these seven critical points for pig farmers to raise with their feed and feed ingredient suppliers with the objective of starting a dialog about feed ingredient safety.

Development of the points to help start the discussion about feed and feed ingredient risk was done with review and input by the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA), the National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA), Kansas State University and the University of Minnesota. Some points will apply to producers’ immediate feed suppliers and some will apply to feed ingredient suppliers.

As a delegation from National Pork Board, NPPC, AASV and SHIC and USDA officials, including US Chief Veterinary Officer Jack Shere, convene this week in Washington, D.C., for a meeting hosted by NPPC, optimism remains high that a renewed and collaborative effort will help protect America’s pig farmers and the entire industry from the current threat posed by ASF and all FADs.

According to Iowa State University economist Dermot Hayes, losses from ASF could total as much as $8 bn. for the pork industry in year one alone.

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