New research project indicates African swine fever (ASF) virus is unlikely to spread via animal feed

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) initiated an international research project in 2022 in which the FLI, the Swedish Statens Veterinärmedicinska Anstalt (SVA) and the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) investigated the stability of ASF viruses on feed, bedding and mechanical vectors under practical storage conditions. For this purpose, 14 relevant agricultural feed and bedding materials were used: grass, grass silage, hay, bark, peat, wood shavings, maize silage, rape, barley, wheat, oats, straw, potatoes and fodder beet.

The results show the spread of ASF viruses via animal feed is only to be expected in exceptional cases. Even after adding large amounts of the infectious virus to various feed and bedding materials, no infectious virus was detectable after a short time, said project coordinator Dr. Sandra Blome of the FLI.

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