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Preventing the spread of African Swine Fever

Photo courtesy of David Geiger

Research finds viruses can survive transoceanic transport in feed and feed ingredients.

So, what can we do to stop the transmission of virus through feed?

Alltech has partnered with Cornerstone, a subsidiary of Pipestone Veterinary Services, to further analyze the transmission of the African Swine Fever (ASF) virus. Dr. Jon De Jong, president of Pipestone Nutrition, says the partnership allowed for new research on Alltech’s APC product.

“At the Alltech (Ideas) Conference, we were able to present new research on a product called APC, which is a feed biosecurity measure Alltech has in place today. It’s a product you add to feed at 15 pounds per ton,” Dr. De Jong said. “We have shown, through a number of studies, the product is capable of mitigating, or eliminating the risk of viral transmission through feed. We’ve looked at viruses like PEDv, PRRSV and Seneca Valley and shown the product today has efficacy against all three viruses.”

Only 20- to 25-percent of Chinese hog farms are comparable to large-scale farms in the United States. Brian McCawley, senior vice president of sales for Alltech, says the modernized production systems still do not implement proper biosecurity program.

“As the market in China develops, we’re going to see greater biosecurity,” McCawley said. “And they’re going to start paying attention to things like virus transmission in feed, as well as feed trucks. (They’ll) implement truck washes because that’s where we see the biggest challenge, moving from farm to farm.”

Dr. De Jong says those large scale hog farms would benefit from incorporating APC feed into their operation.

“Farmers who would have interest in a product like this one are (those) in high disease areas, where disease transmission via feed might be of high concern. Others would be producers who have breeding stock, (especially) sows. We want to keep our sow farms clean of disease and viruses, specifically if you have high value animals where a disease break would be more costly than it would be on a commercial farm.”

Raw products, sourced from China, pose the biggest threat for African Swine Fever (ASF) virus reaching other countries. However, the United States has strict protocol in place to protect the domestic swine herd.

“We have a reasonably long transit time, where the (product) is in containers. Once it arrives in the states, we have a mandatory period where we put stuff in climate controlled warehouses for 30 days. That’s the research the market has been given, as (to) what will be safe for products coming in from overseas,” McCawley said.

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