Feed alliance seeks to fill gaps in knowledge about milling processes in disinfection ASF

The Institute for Feed Education and Research (IFEEDER), the Animal Nutrition Association of Canada (ANAC), and the United Soybean Board (USB) have partnered with the US Swine Health Information Center (SHIC) on this initiative.

Information from the research will inform ASF preparedness plans of North American feed industries as well as biosecurity plans of feed mills to minimize disruptions to the supply chain and trade in the event of an epidemic, the parties said.

SHIC Executive Director Paul Sundberg, commenting on the project, said: “We have learned that once African Swine Fever Virus (ASFV) is in a feed mill, it will stay there for a long time. This work is essential to address this risk for the American pig herd. »

Sundberg told FeedNavigator that field evidence suggests ASFV can be distributed throughout the feed supply chain (Gebhardt et al., 2021), and this has been confirmed by recent research. published by the Kansas State University Feed Safety Team.

“Elijah et al. (2021) determined that the distribution of ASFV in the feed manufacturing environment is widespread and persists even after manufacturing additional batches of initially ASFV-free feeds. This is similar to what is observed with PEDV (Schumacher et al., 2017) and indicates that it is extremely important for the United States to prevent the entry of ASFV into US feed mills. United, because once ASFV is in a feed mill, it will remain in its environment for an extended period of time.”

The 12 to 18 month project will examine the optimal methods of disinfecting feed mills.

Researchers are set to test several disinfection and rinsing procedures using three viruses known to be the most stable in animal feed and endemic to the United States – Seneca A virus (SVA), the virus porcine epidemic diarrhea (PEDv) and porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV). ).

“Research is needed to determine the optimal methods for disinfecting animal feed manufacturing facilities, especially equipment that is not designed to be disinfected. While this research is relevant to ASFV, it is not not possible to conduct with available facilities Previous research has shown Seneca Virus A (SVA) to be the most stable virus in animal feed (Dee et al. 2018). rinse will be tested using three viruses, SVA, PEDV and PRRSV, currently present in the United States.”Sundberg added.

The project will also determine the infectivity of food and environmental samples after fully rinsing and decontaminating equipment.

Feed inoculation and manufacturing will take place at Kansas State University’s Cargill Food Safety Research Center, which includes a pilot-scale feed plant with pelleting capabilities and is approved for handling biosafety level 2 pathogens.

Samples tested for infectivity will take place at Iowa State University.

Knowledge gaps

Lara Moody, executive director of IFEEDER, said the study aimed to fill knowledge gaps in the milling process, in the event of an outbreak.

“There are currently no best practice recommendations for cleaning and disinfecting a feed manufacturing facility contaminated with African swine fever. With support from members of the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA), we are supporting this research to provide guidance for businesses to get their operations back up and running quickly and safely, minimizing long-term downtime, which could have adverse effects on the food supply chain. and the economic consequences.

Melissa Dumont, Executive Director of ANAC, said a strong biosecurity and supplier approval program is critical to preventing animal diseases from entering feed mills and that these programs continue to evolve as science evolves. “If ASF were to be introduced into North America and enter feed mills, facilities are missing crucial information on how to decontaminate a feed mill.”

In the summer of 2021, African swine fever was detected in the Caribbean, the closest it has ever been to the American continent. Recent estimatesshow that an ASF outbreak in the United States could cost the US economy more than $50 billion.

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