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Pork producers must evaluate their suppliers' disease mitigation strategy

The Swine Health Information Center is encouraging pork producers to review recommendations pertaining to the disease risks associated with imported feed ingredients and discuss those risks with their suppliers.

19 August 2019, at 12:25pm

As part of research being conducted on behalf of the Swine Health Information Center scientists are looking at the potential risks of exposure to disease posed by imported feed ingredients, vitamins and minerals and evaluating risk mitigation strategies. Speaking to Farmscape, Swine Health Information Center Executive Director Dr Paul Sundberg encourages producers to discuss the risks and what suppliers are doing to address those risks.

"We have published a document with a decision tree that contains questions that producers should ask their feed suppliers," explains Dr Sundberg. "The questions include if they [producers] source feed ingredients from African swine fever areas - where that virus is circulating now - and if they source those, how they understand and maintain the biosecurity of sources; and how they understand and maintain the purity of those feed ingredients, those types of things.

"They go through a checklist of questions that a producer can bring to their feed supplier and ask them these questions about the ingredients that they're using in their feed.

"That document is available on the swinehealth.org website and it has been authored by feed experts in allied industries and universities.

"We're hopeful that this will stimulate the conversation between producers and their feed suppliers to help to mitigate any risk and help to ensure that they've got a safe feed supply."

Dr Sundberg says the American Feed Industry Association, which represents US feed suppliers, mixers and processors, has been responsive in helping understand and define the risks and the potential mitigants. He says reputable feed ingredient sources should be able to answer producers' questions and, if they can't, it might be reason to consider whether they're appropriate sources.