Ongoing work sponsored by the U.S. Pork Checkoff, National Pork Producers Council, American Association of Swine Veterinarians, and the Institute of Feed Education and Research and released by the Swine Health Information Center has shown that imported feed ingredients containing soybean meal need only be held at 30° Celsius (86° Fahrenheit) for 26 days in order to kill 99.99 percent of potential viruses. While the study has shown similar hold times are needed when comparing Distillers’ Dried Grains (DDGs) at high temperatures, the study shows that conventional soybean meal needs just 52 days at ambient temperatures of 15° Celsius (59° Fahrenheit) compared to 182 days. This suggests that potentially contaminated soybean meal could be cleared for feeding 130 days before the same feed based on DDGs.

The work, done in response to recent outbreaks including the African Swine Fever (ASF) and Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea (PEDV), is not intended to be a guarantee but, rather, updates previous research as the feed industry looks to get a grip on the potential spread of deadly viruses that could be transmitted via animal feed. The process instead is seen as one hurdle in a series that can be put into place in order to prevent the spread of the disease. The study shows that the required hold times are reduced as temperatures are increased, as cool temperatures tend to result in the virus living longer according to Paul Sundberg, Swine Health Information Center executive director. As the spread of African Swine Fever continues to garner headlines throughout news outlets, research is being done in the U.S. to help curb the impact and slow the spread of the disease that is deadly to pigs but harmless to humans.