policy issues

Taking Action to Mitigate Animal Disease Risks Through Feed

The American Feed Industry Association has been working with farmer and rancher organizations, the U.S. government and academia to share its knowledge and expertise and to work together to develop science-based solutions related to foreign animal disease transmission via feed, especially in light of the current African swine fever (ASF) outbreaks. Working with a broad range of experts, the feed industry is actively seeking additional information in order to recommend appropriate mitigation steps.

In the fall of 2018, AFIA developed a multi-pronged action plan that includes:

  • Encouraging the Institute for Feed Education and Research to fund additional research to answer questions on mitigation methods and biosecurity related to ASF. 
  • Reiterating the importance of biosecurity at feed mills and in the delivery of products, and updating the feed industry’s biosecurity guidelines with new information that may assist in preventing disease transmission. 
  • Communicating with ingredient suppliers to ensure that appropriate production and transportation steps are occurring with 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.
  • Providing a mechanism for communications and transparency with farmer and rancher groups to share information regarding the ingredient supply chain and address any specific concerns. 
  • Encouraging companies to conduct research and seek regulatory approval of feed ingredients for the use in mitigating ASF and other diseases.
  • Urging 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.