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Agricultural News

Mallory Gaines with AFIA Stresses Importance of Staying ahead of African Swine Fever Outbreak in the U.S.

Tue, 14 Jun 2022 12:19:27 CDT

Mallory Gaines with AFIA Stresses Importance of Staying ahead of African Swine Fever Outbreak in the U.S. Farm Director, KC Sheperd, visits with the Director of Market Access and Trade Policy at the American Feed Industry Association, Mallory Gaines. Since the confirmation of African Swine Fever last July, the highly contagious disease is on the minds of many exporters. Shepherd and Gaines talk about what an outbreak of ASF in the continental United States would mean for the animal food industry.

"American Feed Industry Association is very concerned about African Swine Fever Outbreak," Gaines said.

Gaines said animal-based products and pet food are traded using a specific health certificate called the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services 16-4 form. This form is only valid if African Swine Fever does not exist in the United States, she added.

Even if a product does not include porcine ingredients, Gaines said it still cannot be traded in the event of an ASF outbreak.

"If we end up with African Swine Fever, a lot of markets are going to shut down, a lot of domestic movement is going to shut down and it is going to be bad overall," Gaines said.

Gaines said an outbreak will affect more than just the animal feed and pet food industry. If you are a beef producer, for example, and the bi-products from the cattle you slaughter are going into animal feed, Gaines said those products will not be exported in the event of an ASF outbreak.

"American Feed Industry Association is working very closely with the Animal Plant Health Inspection Service on the 16-4 form," Gaines said. "We are asking them to update the form now, so we can try to head something off at the pass and not have to deal with updating a form and negotiating with all of our trading partners in the event of a foreign animal disease outbreak."

Gaines said producers should be contacting their individual trade associations and letting them know that this issue exists. It doesn't affect a producer immediately, she added, but those other trade associations should be aware that this will affect their producers and their farmers and ranchers in the event of an ASF outbreak.

"We want to be ahead of ASF as much as we can whether that is biosecurity, domestic movement, or protection zones which AFIS is working on," Gaines said. "We want to be ahead of it making sure that our animal-based and pet food products can get exported."

On another note, Gaines mentioned that AFIA is excited about upcoming market access opportunities which will open up the Vietnamese marketplace for their pet food products.

"The Vietnamese market is a growing marketplace, and they have a growing middle class," Gaines said. "When you have a growing middle class, you want your pets to be fed the best, most wholesome, and safest ingredients they can get fed, and that is U.S. products."

Feed and pet food have a great sustainability story, Gaines said because bi-products and coproducts that people do not want to eat are put to good use. This helps domestically, and with exports and waste, she added.

"Animal feed has a great story in terms of getting things out of the landfill and into something that can be safely eaten from an animal," Gaines said.

Click the LISTEN BAR below to hear more from KC and Mallory Gaines on getting ahead of an ASF outbreak and exciting things coming up for AFIA.



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