Biosecurity in animal transport is still a little-debated topic. But there is no shortage of good examples
This will be discussed at Truckability 2023, in Cremona on 7 June
02, May 2023
“We cannot afford underestimations or lightness, even if involuntary. For this reason, for some time now, for the loading and unloading of the pigs we slaughter, we have always used the same vehicles and the related hauliers, 12 trucks managed by suitably trained personnel, who scrupulously apply all the cleaning and disinfection measures envisaged to prevent the spread among farms supplying dangerous pathogens”.
Daniele Martelli, pig purchasing manager of Macello Martelli Spa in Dosolo, in the province of Mantua, will be one of the speakers who will animate Truckability 2023 on 7 June at the Palace Hotel in Cremona (go to the programme), an event organized by Unitec Hub One Health in collaboration with Cid Lines An Ecolab Company dedicated to biosafety in the transport of animals and foodstuffs, which will not coincidentally coincide with World Food Safety Day.
“Until about twenty years ago, the operations of loading and unloading pigs, first at the farm and then at the slaughterhouse, were often characterized by the haste of the operators - says Martelli - which meant not giving too much weight to those cleaning and disinfection of vehicles, on the other hand, is essential to avoid the risk associated with the spread of pathogens, such as Prrs, which are potentially very dangerous for animal health. Fortunately, today we are living in another era and as far as we are concerned, for some time now, we have adopted all the most suitable measures and tools to guarantee the maximum conditions of hygiene".
In fact, Daniele Martelli explains that all the hauliers used by the slaughterhouse have a regular licence, which an animal welfare officer, before unloading, first checks the regularity of all the documentation and then, during the unloading phases of the pigs, compliance with all the provisions envisaged to facilitate the exit of the animals from the vehicle and to facilitate access to the stall in the best hygienic-sanitary conditions.
“At the end of the unloading operations – explains Daniele Martelli – all the trucks are washed with a high pressure water jet followed by rinsing with a low pressure water jet, thus preventing the residues of dirty to litter; then we proceed with the disinfection and drying operation of the whole vehicle, a very important detail that offers a further guarantee of hygiene. It is evident that all this may not be sufficient if the loading operations at the farms do not have to observe the same procedures used at the slaughterhouse. For this reason it is desirable that, upon arrival of the vehicle at the farm, further disinfection of the wheels and van is carried out to minimize the risk associated with contagion. However, it must be said that today, at least as far as our suppliers are concerned, things have decidedly improved compared to the past and several farmers have created loading stations outside the company which, together with the cleaning of vehicles and the adoption of foreseen devices such as shoes, overalls and gloves, also worn by our hauliers, offer ever greater guarantees of hygiene".
"There is no doubt that the transport of animals represents the most critical phase in terms of biosecurity - points out Andrea Rossi, responsible for supply chain relations within Assica, the Association of meat and cured meats manufacturers which appears among the patrons of Truckability 2023 – an aspect also highlighted by Classyfarm, the system commissioned by the Ministry of Health and implemented by the Experimental Zooprophylactic Institute of Lombardy and Emilia Romagna with the collaboration of the University of Parma aimed at strengthening the prevention of animal diseases while offering farmers the conditions to improve their business. This is why Assica, in its role as representative of the world of slaughtering, can only look favorably and with interest in events such as Truckability 2023".
"Unfortunately, the issue related to the transport of animals and the critical issues it can represent with respect to the risk associated with the spread of pathogens among animals is still little debated - explains Mattia Cecchinato, professor at the University of Padua and president of the Italian Society of Pathology aviare (Sipa), another important body that appears among the sponsors of Truckability 2023 – Sipa is very attentive and sensitive to such a current topic that involves every link in the production chain including, in the end, the consumer, today increasingly attentive to the aspects affect animal welfare and food safety. I therefore believe that highlighting such an important topic as biosafety in the transport of animals and foodstuffs is fundamental.