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November 16, 2018
The European Feed Manufacturers Federation (FEFAC) said this week it is attentively following any information related to a possible role of feed in the transmission of African swine fever (ASF) virus, and in this context, FEFAC noted that tests performed by Chinese authorities on a sample of suspect feed did not confirm the contamination.
FEFAC said any information pointing to feed as a cause of infection with ASF must be handled very cautiously and requires thorough analysis before coming to any conclusion, taking into account elements such as the origin of the samples, the actual contamination pathway and at which stage of the chain it could have occurred (feed ingredient supplier, feed mill, transport, farm, etc.).
FEFAC noted that it has been regularly reviewing and updating its risk analysis by taking into account the latest risk assessment advice from public risk assessment bodies and the experience gained by feed industry organizations in the European Union and worldwide.
The federation emphasized in particular that a risk assessment conducted by the European Food Safety Authority "does not point to animal feed as a cause for virus transmission (with the noticeable exception of feeding pigs with catering waste)."
FEFAC said it concluded that the risk of commercial feed being intrinsically a vector of transmission of ASF is negligible insofar as effective biosecurity measures are in place all along the chain, in particular for feed transport in infected zones.
The European and global feed industry will continue investigating the most recent scientific publications on effective processing technologies (heat and pressure) that can inactivate viruses, on reliable detection methods and on sampling methods for feed in cooperation with chain partners and risk assessment/management bodies at the national and global levels, FEFAC said.
At the same time, FEFAC wants to emphasize the absolute necessity to make sure that no catering waste is fed to pigs in the EU, as required by EU law since 2002.
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