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Swine disease transfer study highlights prevention steps

Researchers at Kansas State University have developed a review covering the ability of swine diseases, like African Swine Fever, to spread through feed.

The study imitated conditions and duration of transoceanic shipment of feed inputs. Kansas State’s Megan Niederwerder said nine out of 12 feed ingredients tested, including soybean meal, were able to support viruses through the process.

“With regards to soybean meal, it’s important to consider, of course, the source of the soybean meal that you’re getting for swine diets,” she said.

Niederwerder said diseases can enter the feed supply chain through wild boar or infected pig populations having contact with inputs in fields, grain storage facilities or on roads as infected animals pass by.

She tells Brownfield measures like maintaining biosecurity in processing plants, heat treating feed and adding ingredients that lower disease virility can decrease spread.

“There are these opportunities where we can reduce the risk with every step we take to hopefully prevent any entry of foreign animal diseases through this route,” Niederwerder said.

She said processors should use feed inputs from ASF free countries to avoid ASF specifically. Niederwerder said it’s important to implement these strategies in a cost-effective way to support swine producers. The full review can be found on Kansas State’s website.

Megan Niederwerder Interview

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