Unitec Hub One Health, in cooperation with Cid Lines An Ecolab Company, organises a conference for livestock and food producers dedicated to the topic of biosecurity in animal and food transport
13, May 2023
From Covid to avian flu, as with other pathologies, we have unfortunately learned that contamination is the order of the day, often favored by the movement of people and things, including means of transport which, traveling between different companies, can cause cross contamination.
“Animal health, the biosecurity of the supply chain and food safety are the pillars from which the conference to be held in Cremona on 7 June will unfold – explains Mark Beghian, CEO of Unitec Hub One Health – and it is no coincidence that the date coincides with World Food Safety Day. The event will be an opportunity to provide all those involved in production, slaughtering, processing and distribution with non-definitive answers but practical solutions with the aim of encouraging a comparison between all the links in the supply chain and possibly identifying effective prevention in the delicate phase of transport of animals and/or derived products. The means of transport and related equipment unfortunately constitute the weakest and most critical link in the supply chain. This is why it is necessary to intervene more effectively throughout the entire process which, in addition to the loading/unloading of animals on the farm, involves the slaughtering and transformation of foodstuffs. Hygiene and disinfection of means of transport, in addition to being provided for both by the European regulatory framework and by national law, are procedures monitored for the effects of categorizing the risk gradient of a farm. The so-called good practices at the gate - suggests Beghian - are therefore essential to mitigate the risk of introducing pathogens into the company and/or spreading them through contaminated vehicles in the area. To this end, the functional complement is a controlled station at the entrance and exit of the farm consisting of a stable garrison of hygienic-sanitary prophylaxis of the vehicles, or the biosecurity gate".
"Often poor or inappropriate cleaning even inside the cab of trucks intended for transport can prove to be a dangerous reservoir of pathogens capable of contaminating the load - points out Giancarlo Belluzzi, veterinary surgeon and chairman of the conference on 7 June - Today the animal welfare, livestock health and biosecurity are the cornerstones of food security. With regard to the animal welfare aspect, the national and European regulatory framework provides for very stringent rules on the duration and length of the journey, on the conditions of transport which must guarantee the animals an adequate water supply, on correct ventilation and on the appropriate spaces both at the inside the vehicle and in the stables where the animals are hospitalized at the end of the journey. On the other hand, it is on the biosafety front that there is still a lot to do, because too often carelessness and even a certain level of superficiality risk creating the optimal conditions to favor the spread of pathogens. There are an increasing number of farmers who, to avoid any risk of contamination from vehicles that are not well disinfected, offer or demand loading ramps connecting the farm to the vehicles, preventing the latter from entering the company area. Furthermore, the same consumer prefers clear and transparent information both on the living conditions of the animals and on the health treatments to which they can be subjected - concludes Belluzzi - The agri-food sector is responding at its best but it is not yet sufficient. The recent Covid 19 pandemic has made us understand the importance of biosecurity and the epidemics that unfortunately still periodically affect certain livestock sectors show that there is still a long way to go: but the tools to be adopted are there and if used well they can demonstrate all their effectiveness".