ONTARIO-based feed producer Grand Valley Fortifiers issued a statement last week explaining in more detail its recent decision to recall its pelleted nursery feeds containing blood plasma ingredients and to move exclusively to nursery pig feeds that do not contain animal byproducts (story, pages 10-11).
Likewise, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) confirmed that testing has determined that the deadly porcine epidemic disease virus (PEDV) was present in samples of U.S.-origin plasma obtained at the third-party manufacturer for Grand Valley Fortifiers. This plasma was used as an ingredient in feed pellets produced by the company.
Testing with a swine bioassay determined that the plasma ingredient contained live virus capable of causing disease in pigs, CFIA said.
Grand Valley Fortifiers said it made the difficult decision to conduct a recall when it recognized that several of its clients' herds were being affected by PEDV.
"When we made that decision, there was no conclusive evidence that we were part of the contamination chain, but we acted as quickly as possible to protect our customers and the swine industry. As additional cases have been confirmed over the last week, we now believe that Grand Valley Fortifiers may have received contaminated blood plasma from a major North American manufacturer," the company said.
Grand Valley Fortifiers said it is doing everything it can to work with government authorities to conclusively determine if its pelleted nursery feeds were contaminated and transmitted the virus to farm partners.
Specifically, the company said, CFIA is engaged in bioassay analysis in the agency's Winnipeg, Man., laboratory, where both the pelleted nursery feeds and the blood plasma ingredient are being fed to piglets to see whether they become infected with PEDV. Test results are expected soon.
CFIA said it is also reviewing records of other imports of swine plasma and will work with the Council of Chief Veterinary Officers and the pork industry in Canada to proactively manage the possible risk of transmission through feed.
PEDV poses no risk to human health or food safety but is quite deadly to young pigs. Proper biosecurity measures remain the first and best line of defense for pork producers to protect against PEDV.
Member companies of the North American Spray Dried Blood & Plasma Producers issued a statement in early February emphasizing that they are "committed to producing safe, high-quality blood products for use in feeds for commercial livestock and companion animals."