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FAD Prevention

On September 5, 2018, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officials met with US pork sector groups, including the American Association of Swine Veterinarians, National Pork Board, National Pork Producers Council, and Swine Health Information Center to discuss additional measures to prevent the spread of African swine fever (ASF) to the United States. The disease is currently active in China and some European countries. This document captures the prevention segment of the discussion. More information on diagnostic preparedness, surveillance, and response will be provided soon.

On September 5, 2018, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officials met with US pork sector groups, including the American Association of Swine Veterinarians, National Pork Board, National Pork Producers Council, and Swine Health Information Center to discuss additional measures to prevent the spread of African swine fever (ASF) to the United States. The disease is currently active in China and some European countries. This document captures the prevention segment of the discussion. More information on diagnostic preparedness, surveillance, and response will be provided soon.

 

  1. Communication
    1. USDA is setting up biweekly calls for updates and discussion of ASF-related issues.
    2. USDA has set up a Web page dedicated to ASF at https://www.aphis.usda.gov/animalhealth/animal-disease-information/swine-health. USDA will update this page as the situation evolves.
  2. Waste Feeding and Swine Health Protection Act
    1. APHIS has had controls in place for decades on international garbage, including food waste from ships, airlines and international conveyances. These controls require all international garbage to be disposed of appropriately and under APHIS supervision – for example, transported under seal to approved incineration facilities.
    2. Authority to ban the feeding of plate waste containing meat is under the regulatory oversight of individual states, not with USDA.
    3. USDA will do an assessment of what needs to be done, if anything, to improve inspection of licensed facilities and enforcement on unlicensed facilities
  3. Importing meat products
    1. APHIS import restrictions prohibit the entry of untreated animal products, including meat and meat products, from countries or regions considered affected with certain diseases. Fresh/frozen pork is prohibited from regions affected with FMD, CSF, SVD, or ASF, while meat that has been cooked is allowed under APHIS regulations.
    2. EU is transparent in their review and zoning of the current ASF situation.
    3. APHIS is in regular contact with the EU about current zoning status
    4. Safe trade in meat and meat products around the world is built on the understanding that government veterinary authorities in the country of origin of the products inspect and certify those products in accordance with the requirements of the country of destination. Imposing additional requirements – such as testing products for viruses after arrival in the country of destination – destroys the credibility of the certification system, and leads to the consequences of reciprocal testing of US exports.
  4. Casings
    1. Swine casings that originate from ASF positive countries/regions are prohibited entry into the US under APHIS regulations.
    2. APHIS acted to deny entry of Chinese origin swine casings in transit when ASF was found in China
    3. APHIS regulations allow US origin swine casings to be processed in ASF-affected countries/regions under certain conditions. APHIS is working, with the strong support of the casings industry, to review the processing of US-origin swine casings in Chinese facilities
    4. Casings are shipped with 6 weeks transit time to and from facilities in saturated brine solutions that will inactivate FADs as referenced in OIE guidelines.
  5. USDA and FDA identified many concerns and potential consequences that could arise from testing imported feed components.
    1. USDA and FDA believe there are currently many unknowns and data gaps that should be identified to help define or validate feed risk. In the absence of information regarding the predictive ability of unvalidated test results to accurately determine the potential risk associated with feed, the design and implementation of a testing strategy is not feasible.
    2. There are significant logistics issues – including whether a validated test and a validated sampling method exist, who does the sampling, who pays for the testing, who pays for storage or demurrage charges while product is held – that would present challenges.
    3. Testing could bring potential consequences that must be considered such as false interpretation of results, the different industries that could be impacted by testing as some ingredients are shared between the human and animal food streams, and the impact on US exports if additional testing requirements are imposed.
    4. Without further information and because of recognized data gaps, a government testing program is not feasible at this time.
    5. USDA and FDA continue to work with industry representatives to assess the potential risk of non-animal origin feed ingredients to US Agriculture and the feed supply.
    6. NAHLN will put out a guidance to the VDLs advising them to not do unofficial FAD testing
  6. The pork industry will need to work with the feed industry and other affiliated industries to develop programs to address feed safety. APHIS and FDA are willing to help with these discussions and processes.
  7. FDA is willing to facilitate expedited regulatory review with any sponsor submitting a possible mitigation product added to feed that may help address the animal health concerns associated with FAD transmission.
  8. USDA has asked Customs and Border Protection to target inspections of passengers and cargo coming from ASF positive regions.
  9. USDA is on heightened alert for illegal pork products in non-traditional markets.