July 2019 SHIC eNewsletter

SHIC-Sponsored Workshop Considers Vitamin Supply Chain and Disease Risk

The Swine Health Information Center (SHIC) joined with the University of Minnesota to sponsor a workshop on April 29, 2019, to increase understanding of the vitamin supply chain and identify potential risk factors for introducing foreign animal disease (FAD) to the US. Within the vitamin supply chain meeting report, authors Dr. Gerald Shurson and Dr. Pedro Urriola of the University of Minnesota describe current industry understanding of vitamin manufacturing, transport, and vitamin premix composition/manufacturing processes as well as quality assurance and biosecurity programs. They address the pork producers’ need to select reputable suppliers for all feed ingredients and describe the challenges of potential mitigation procedures for vitamin products and premixes. The vitamin supply chain report also includes a detailed listing of vitamin manufacturers in China and their web sites as well details on biosecurity procedures and third-party audits of many of these facilities.

Estimates of the quantity and percentage of total vitamins imported into the United States from China in 2018 (Source: United States International Trade Commission; https://dataweb.usitc.gov/)

Vitamin imports (human and animal use)kgEstimated % of total vitamin imports
Vitamin C36,435,93580
Vitamin E and related27,689,71055
Niacin (B3)9,891,19250
Pantothenic acid (B5)4,781,25370
Vitamin A2,257,38835
Thiamin (B1)2,137,93490
Riboflavin (B2)1,507,01650
Pyridoxine (B6)1,367,48390
Vitamin (B12)661,10790
Folic acid337,10640
Other unmixed vitamins and derivatives4,467,90870

Vitamins are essential nutrients required by swine to optimize health, productivity, and well-being. The US pork industry is dependent on vitamins manufactured in China, where African swine fever (ASF) continues to spread. To meet US demand, there are limited options for sourcing vitamins, and in some cases no option other than Chinese-origin products. The risk of ASF or other FAD being introduced to the US via vitamin imports appears to be low, however, a legitimate concern due to the consequences.

Risk factors for ASF contamination and transmission via the vitamin supply chain include purchase from unconventional brokers without necessary documentation, cross contamination of vitamin premixes with other feed ingredients (particularly porcine-derived ingredients), porcine-derived gelatin used in vitamins A and D3, and ground corn cobs used as carriers during the choline chloride manufacturing process.

SHIC Engages in Multiple ASF and FAD Preparedness and Prevention Activities

The Swine Health Information Center (SHIC) continues to engage with multiple stakeholders on African swine fever (ASF) preparedness, prevention, and response related efforts as it fulfills its mission to protect and enhance the health of the US swine herd. SHIC’s involvement in these activities, in addition to its ongoing work, includes coordination with many pork industry groups, government agencies, members of academia, and other stakeholders. SHIC-funded projects have resulted in deliverables to the industry on the issues of feed and feed ingredients as vectors, feed holding times, feed mitigants, and more. SHIC also maintains consistent communication with industry partners, together coordinating and complementing activities as a united effort on behalf of US producers.

The following outlines the ASF-related efforts and activities specific to SHIC since last August. These, in addition to SHIC’s ongoing work, represent an intense focus on this threat to the US swine herd.

SHIC Participates in Industry-Led Groups

ASF Crisis Team – Organized by the National Pork Board. Participants from the American Association of Swine Veterinarians, National Pork Board, National Pork Producers Council, North American Meat Institute, and SHIC.

  • Organized immediately after ASF diagnosis in China.
  • Updates on the ASF situation and organization response are shared with a focus on forward-looking strategies and communication with stakeholder audiences.

National Swine Disease Council – Staffed by the American Association of Swine Veterinarians, National Pork Board, National Pork Producers Council, North American Meat Institute, and SHIC.

  • Mission is to provide recommendations to animal health officials and industry stakeholders to mitigate threats and negative impacts to the US pork industry from diseases of concern.

National Pork Board African Swine Fever Task Force – Organized by the National Pork Board per the direction of its Swine Health Committee.

  • Vision of this task force is to keep ASF out of the US by employing favorable influence in areas under the scope of the National Pork Board

Feed Safety Task Force – Participants include pork and feed industry representatives, and pork industry associations, including SHIC, as well as USDA and FDA personnel who attend.

  • Still under development, this task force is intended to evaluate the potential risk of virus introduction via feed, assess gaps in knowledge, and help consider what industry or government actions need to be taken to protect the US pork industry from that risk.
  • Actions should be achievable, based on science, and have as a goal the minimization of trade disruptions.

AASV’s Committee on Emerging and Transmissible Diseases – Committee members are AASV members as well as SHIC.

  • Mission is to explore issues associated with transboundary and emerging diseases of swine domestically and internationally.
  • Purpose is to inform AASV members and relevant stakeholders about the status of swine diseases as well as the development and implementation of strategies to respond to current and future animal health events.
SHIC-Funded Research

Feed/Dust Sampling Methods

  • Research in progress at Kansas State University.
  • Goal is to get valid feed sampling methods and protocols.

Feed Half-Life Studies

  • SHIC fully funded the initial virus survivability in feed research project, conducted by Pipestone Applied Research and South Dakota State University, which was the first of its kind. The project evaluated survival of viral pathogens of livestock in animal feed ingredients imported daily into the US under simulated transboundary conditions. Subsequently, results of two studies have been used to calculate the estimate of feed holding time published first in October 2018 and again with revised holding time calculations released in May 2019.
  • Expert review to inform on degradation/bioavailability of ingredients based on holding times underway.

Study One

  • Collaboration among Kansas State University, South Dakota State University and Pipestone Applied Research, completed at Kansas State University.
  • Data enabled the first estimates of virus half-life, used to calculate initial holding times.

Study Two

  • Funding partner is IFEEDER (American Feed Industry Association).
  • Completed at South Dakota State University.
  • Evaluated survival of Seneca Valley Virus, whose initial half-life was found to be longer than ASF, over time at three different temperatures.
  • Data enabled an updated, more scientifically sound calculation of holding time as a potential mitigant for ASF and other viral contamination in feed ingredients.

ASF and Foreign Animal Disease Viruses Survival Under Transport Conditions

  • Collaboration among Kansas State University, South Dakota State University and Pipestone Applied Research, completed at Kansas State University
  • Evaluated ability of ASF to survive the 30-day trip from Warsaw, Poland, to Des Moines, Iowa.
  • Also, directly tested classical swine fever and pseudo rabies virus under simulated transboundary conditions.

Feed Mitigant Study

  • Underway at Pipestone Applied Research.
  • Goal is to investigate different feed additives that could be used during milling to decrease potential contamination in feed ingredients.

Foot-and-Mouth Disease Oral Infectious Dose in Feed Study

  • Funding from the National Pork Board, USDA and SHIC, with study underway at Plum Island, New York.
  • Goal is to repeat the work of Drs. Scott Dee, Diego Diel, and Megan Neiderwerder using two different strains of foot-and-mouth disease.
Selected SHIC-Funded Resources

Holding Time Calculations (Revised)

  • Based on research funded by SHIC and the National Pork Board.
  • Informs on mitigating risk.

Disease Status Information by Country

  • Goal is to inform stakeholders on risk when sourcing supplies and ingredients.
  • SHIC-funded Global Swine Disease Monitoring Report is updated monthly and more often when disease activity warrants.
  • Reports are aggregated by University of Minnesota personnel.
SHIC-Funded Industry Meetings

African Swine Fever Vitamin Supply Chain Workshop

  • Funded by SHIC and hosted by the University of Minnesota in April 2019.
  • Forum to better understand feed component safety.
  • See article in this edition of the SHIC newsletter.

African Swine Fever Soybean Meal Supply Chain Workshop

  • Funded by SHIC and hosted by the University of Minnesota on July 10, 2019.
  • Forum to better understand feed component safety.
  • Look for a report to be posted on the SHIC website soon.
SHIC-Led Industry Coordination

Customs and Border Protection

  • On behalf of the industry and the other pork industry associations, SHIC collects and coordinates reports of lack of secondary screening for those returning to the US after visiting farms in countries with active ASF activity to Customers and Border Protection (CBP).
  • Goal is to help improve CBP performance in protecting the pork industry and US agriculture from the introduction of ASF and other foreign animal diseases.

July Swine Disease Monitoring Reports

Domestic Disease Monitoring Report

In this month’s Domestic Swine Disease Monitoring Report, it is reported porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) activity remains within predicted values for 2019. There was a slight decrease in PRRSV diagnoses in wean-to-market pigs from May (37.81%) to June (36.52%), however, it increased to 44.53% during the first full week of June. This increase was mostly due to cases in North Carolina and Iowa. The percentage of positive cases in adult/sow animals decreased to 20.87% in June, the lowest level of detection for 2019 in this phase. The level of detection of enteric coronaviruses were within expected values in June with decreased diagnoses in all age categories. None of the 2288 cases tested for transmissible gastroenteritis virus in June were positive. The report also notes changes in recording and reporting of diagnostic codes at the Iowa State University Veterinary Diagnostic Lab so there are no enteric, respiratory, nor central nervous system results in this edition. The online dashboards will be updated once the new system is in place, which is expected in July 2019.

Global Swine Disease Monitoring Report

The first cases of African swine fever (ASF) were reported in Laos on June 20. Laotian authorities said there were seven outbreaks of ASF in the southern province of Saravane. The July Swine Health Information Center Global Swine Disease Monitoring Report contains details. The report also covers the largest outbreak of ASF in Vietnam since the start of the epidemic. On June 25, authorities of Dong Nai province released a statement reporting it was discovered on a farm with 18,000 pigs. Also in the July report, the USDA Feral Swine Eradication and Control (FSCP) Pilot Program is discussed. The USDA is offering $75 million in funding for the eradication and control of feral swine through the program in a joint effort between USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).