May 6, 2019


US soybean council invites experts to discuss swine fever prevention in Romania


In an effort to assist Eastern European customers in overcoming the current challenges faced by the local swine industry, the US Soybean Export Council (USSEC) recently invited renowned experts to Romania  to share updated information on African swine fever, the USSEC said.


The experts - namely, Dr. José Manuel Sánchez-Vizcaíno, Dr. Megan C. Niederwerder, Dr. Enrico Marco Granell and Dr. Gonzalo Mateos - discussed strategies to prevent the spread of the disease and how to eventually eradicate it from the affected areas in Romania.

Hosted by the Romanian Feed Association (ANFNC) in Bucharest, the USSEC conference "Advances in Swine Nutrition and Diseases" took place on April 2. More than 60 participants from swine integrations, including US soy customers from Romania, Bulgaria and Poland, attended.

The agenda of the event covered key swine nutrition, biosecurity and swine disease-related subjects, which aimed to educate the specialists in charge of biosecurity at swine farms and feed mills. Recent outbreaks in East European countries have had a serious socioeconomic impact on the farming sector and are of major importance in the international trade of animals and animal products.

Biosecurity at the level of swine farms and feed mills and preventive measures to limit the spread of the disease through different vectors were presented by the keynote speakers, Dr. Niederwerder, Dr. Marco, and Dr. Vizcaino.

Dr. Niederwerder introduced the latest research from Kansas State University, which found that ASFV could survive in a simulated feed shipment across the ocean, which suggests that pathogens may potentially spread via feed.

Dr. Sánchez-Vizcaíno, a world authority in ASF, spoke about ways that ASF could spread and infect animals, suggesting the implementation of strict control measures including biosecurity, culling of infected pigs and reducing the wild boar population, which have managed to contain the spread of the disease in several regions thus far.

In addition to his presentation that focused on antibiotic-free swine production, Dr. Mateos emphasised the crucial role of soy and soy products and how they need to be used and regarded within the entire feeding context for antibiotic-free swine diets, focusing on the advantages of US soy.

According to USSEC, Romania's swine industry situation is complex, given its geography, as it borders countries continuing facing ASF outbreaks that have different rules and regulations to fight the spread of the disease.

Dr. Sanchez-Vizcaino suggested a set of particular measures to normalise the internal swine market and avoid damages for the local swine commercial production. He also volunteered to train a team of Romanian veterinarians who will be involved in Romania's ASF eradication at University Complutense Madrid, Spain.

In addition, Dr. Vizcaino emphasised the involvement of the Romanian authorities and the ability of the country's Minister of Agriculture, Petre Daea, to have a comprehensive view of the virus, thanking him for understanding the importance of addressing the ASF issue.