policy issues

Taking Action to Mitigate Animal Disease Risks Through Feed

The American Feed Industry Association has been working hand-in-hand with farmer and rancher organizations, the U.S. government and academia to develop science-based solutions related to foreign animal disease transmission via feed, especially given the concerted effort to block African swine fever (ASF) from entering the United States. 

The AFIA launched a multi-pronged action plan in the fall of 2018 that includes research, policymaker and stakeholder outreach and communication with members. Below are a few recent accomplishments in this area.

  • In January 2019, the AFIA updated its biosecurity guidelines with new information that may assist members in preventing disease transmission at feed mills and in the delivery of products.
  • The industry’s public charity, the Institute for Feed Education and Research, has completed two research projects on ASF – one that recommended appropriate holding times for high-risk ingredients imported from countries where ASF is present and another that looked at how viruses can contaminate a feed mill and recommendations for mitigation strategies.
  • In January 2020, the association held an educational program, "Biosecurity in the Face of Foreign Animal Disease – What the Feed Industry Needs to Know," which discussed how to prevent the introduction of foreign animal diseases at feed mills, steps to take if a disease outbreak comes to the U.S. and more.
  • The association has been communicating with members on the importance of working with ingredient suppliers to ensure that appropriate production and transportation steps are occurring with their foreign suppliers, which helps shield products from possible ASF virus contamination. The Food Safety Modernization Act’s Foreign Supplier Verification Program and other supplier approval mechanisms are important for addressing this item.
  • The AFIA has participated in national and international governmental forums and industry conferences with farmer and rancher groups to share information regarding the feed ingredient supply chain and address any specific concerns. 
  • The association has encouraged companies to conduct research and seek regulatory approval of feed ingredients for mitigating ASF and other diseases and has urged the Food and Drug Administration to expedite the review of such feed ingredient submissions.

For more information on AFIA’s crisis response to African swine fever, visit AFIA’s member website.