Feed quarantines work against African Swine Fever

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Quarantining feed ingredients from China in warm conditions and treating the feed with chemicals commonly used in livestock feeds will greatly reduce the risk of introducing African Swine Fever in North America, says Dr. Scott Dee of Pipestone Applied Research.

He said Canada requires a quarantine for imported Chinese feed ingredients, such as vitamins and organic soybeans, and he wants the U.S. to follow suit.

Dee is the researcher who found that Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus can survive and spread in animal feeds and now he has done the same for African Swine Fever in trials at Kansas State University.

He said some Chinese practices make the spread of African Swine Fever likely to continue. For example, it’s common to spread grain on the ground and drive trucks over to crack the kernels. The virus can spread on truck tires.

“I expect that there will be another episode of the disease in 2020,” he said.

“This will be unlike the original epidemic when the national herd was naïve to the virus, but with the virus still present and circulating in pigs across the country, re-stocking with ASF-negative animals taking place already and no proven vaccines available, there is a high risk of another large outbreak.”