policy issues

Animal Food Industry Responds to COVID-19

With robust biosecurity programs in place at manufacturing facilities across the country, the U.S. animal food industry is constantly on guard against the threat of disease. We know that our actions have the ability to stop viruses in their tracks before they impact farm animals or pets, or the people who come into contact with them.

When the first cases of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) began popping up in the U.S. earlier this year, the industry took notice. Companies took swift action to put into place policies and procedures at their facilities that would not only protect the health of their workforce, but also ensure they could continue supplying feed and pet food to their customers. As the situation has evolved, so too has the industry’s response.

At the American Feed Industry Association, we continue to represent our members at the state, federal and international levels to ensure policymakers understand how their actions to curtail the spread of COVID-19 will impact the industry’s ability to maintain business operations and sustain the food supply. Below are some of the major actions AFIA has taken to date:

  • Coordinated with the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency to ensure animal food manufacturers, ingredient suppliers and retailers that sell animal food products are deemed “critical infrastructure” in federal guidance as states make plans to shutter non-essential businesses.
  • Worked with 23 state grain and feed associations to urge state governors and other high-level officials around the country to maintain access to businesses that provide animal food.
  • Supported the Food and Drug Administration’s efforts to maintain feed and food safety amid modifications to the agency’s routine inspection schedules and the use of Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) drugs.
  • Monitored transportation issues as they relate to truckers being able to haul feed and pet food ingredients and products in accordance with their license requirements.
  • Tracked supply chain issues, from ingredients coming into U.S. ports and across the borders to moving freely about the country to their final destinations.
  • Provided information to the U.S. Department of Agriculture on the industry’s use of personal protective equipment and sanitation materials, which are in high demand.
  • Monitored new guidance from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to keep essential employees safe from unnecessary exposure.
  • Developed several resources for AFIA members to implement immediately to reduce the risk of COVID-19 exposure at their facilities and prepare them for possible labor disruptions.
  • Communicating with our feed association partners across the globe to share best practices and issues and concerns.

For questions related to AFIA’s COVID-19 response, contact Leah Wilkinson, AFIA’s vice president of public policy and education.

News & Views

April 17 Blog Giving Back During COVID-19
April 8 Blog Answering Your Questions on COVID-19
April 2 Blog I Can't Find N95 Respirators: Now What Do I Do?
March 27 Blog We're All In This Together: Wilkinson Describes Industry's Actions to Combat COVID-19
March 23 Blog Keeping Supply Chains Open and Animals Fed
March 23 Blog Coronavirus is Here. Time to Flatten the Curve.
March 19 News Release AFIA Calls on States to Keep Animal Food Businesses Open During COVID-19 Response<
March 6 Blog How to Prepare Your Business for Coronavirus 
Feb. 28 Blog Coronavirus Part 1: The Basics 

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