FEFAC & ANFNC held a workshop on Biosecurity

FEFAC and its Romanian Member Association ANFNC held on 21 February 2019 a workshop in Bucharest on implementation of good biosecurity practice at feed mills as a contribution to control and prevent dissemination of viruses, against the backdrop of further spreading of ASF in Romanian pig farms. The workshop highlighted a series of practical recommendations from feed industry experts in different Member States how to put in place and to keep current robust staff training programmes, cleaning & disinfection procedures and other risk management measures to prevent dissemination of viruses such as Avian Influenza or Foot and Mouth Disease, which are also applicable to African Swine Fever and other viruses.

More than 80 feed industry representatives from mainly Romania and neighbouring countries and also from many other EU countries reiterated their commitment to contribute to the general objective of preventing further dissemination of viruses. Indeed, next to contact with infected wild animals, the most common route of contamination of domestic pigs is visitors and their vehicles. Like any other sector interacting with farms, the feed industry must have in place biosecurity plans compliant with EU and national rules to prevent dissemination of viruses from farm to farm. In addition, feed manufacturers must also implement rules to prevent feed mills to be contaminated by trucks delivering feed ingredients.

The debate showed that awareness raising, training, education were key and start with principles that must be adhered to not only in case of outbreaks but already while the virus is away. It proved also that FEFAC had a clear role to play in facilitating cross-border exchange of experience and providing harmonized guidance on biosecurity principles and measures within the feed industry and with other livestock value chain partners.

Representatives from the EU Commission and EFSA reported on their activities to support official control and value chain measures on ASF and in particular the upcoming update on the risk assessment performed by EFSA of different possible vectors of transmission of ASF. Based on scientific research published since 2014 as well as industry studies and analysis of trade flows of feed ingredients, EFSA will review its risk assessment of different types of feed, forages and certain feed ingredients used in commercial feed and, thereby, provide feed operators with useful information for them to upgrade their own risk analysis.