In the wake of ongoing outbreaks of African swine fever in China, pork industry experts from the National Pork Board, the National Pork Producers Council, the American Association of Swine Veterinarians and the Swine Health Information Center, are collaborating to help U.S. pig farmers safeguard herds from this costly disease. This includes paying particular attention to the biosecurity of feed and feed ingredients that are used on domestic farms.

As published scientific research has shown, viruses do have the potential to travel long distances via feed ingredients, which proves the theoretical ability of a foreign animal disease pathogen to reach U.S. shores. To help prevent this potential risk from becoming a reality, swine industry experts have compiled these seven critical questions for pig farmers to ask of their feed and feed ingredient suppliers with the objective of starting a dialog about feed ingredient safety.

Note that some of these points will apply to producers’ immediate feed suppliers and some will apply to feed ingredient suppliers.

  1. Describe the facility’s biosecurity program to minimize the spread of pathogens from people, vehicles and ingredients.
  2. Describe the facility’s employee training on feed safety.
  3. Describe the facility’s pest control program.
  4. Describe the facility’s traceability program.
  5. Describe the facility’s supplier approval program.
  6. Is the facility certified by a third-party certification body for food safety? Third-party certification programs may include the Feed Additives Manufacturers (FAMI-QS), the International Standards Organization (ISO), the Safe Quality Food (SQF), Safe Feed/Safe Food, etc.
  7. Does the facility utilize ingredients that were manufactured or packaged outside of the United States?