Abstracts Accepted for Session 2: Emerging Diseases Control and Environmental Impact

Carcass Disposal Methods during Major Epizootics: An Overview of African Swine Fever in Nigeria

Festus O. Abonyi, Ndubuisi S. Machebe, Gary A. Flory

University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria and Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, Harrisonburg, VA

Increased globalization, changes in livestock production systems, decline in animal health services and infrastructure especially in developing countries and global warming are factors that have contributed to the dynamic nature of trans-boundary animal diseases.In Nigeria, the cost of livestockproduction is also becoming increasingly high due to the present economic reality. Where these factors are not properly managed, a major epizootic may result. During a major animal disease outbreak, there is always an urgent need for immediate disease containment and a very significant question that relates to the method of handling potentially large numbers of dead animals often arise. In Nigeria, stamping out method of disease control is the most common and successful approach employed particularly in exotic disease outbreak such as Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza orAfrican Swine Fever (ASF). Despite cases of diseases outbreak, other situations caused by natural disaster such as flooding or hurricanes, animal contamination by toxic chemical spills, ingestion of contaminated feed, large fires, and slaughter for animal welfare reasons as in starvation, humane culling, or deliberate bioterrorism could also lead to the death of animals in large numbers. All these factors necessitates the choice of an appropriate method of animal carcass disposal mechanism. ASF is a highly contagious viral disease of domestic pig. The catastrophic effect of ASF on pig production from households to commercial enterprises has serious socioeconomic consequences and implication for food security. Therefore, an outbreak of ASF requires that an appropriate and very strategic method for carcass disposal based on the application of existing regulatory control to curtail the spread of the disease must applied. Unfortunately, many animal farmers in Nigerianeither haveany knowledge of the existence of regulatory control on carcass disposal nor has any been prosecuted for improper carcass disposal. Based on the afore-mentioned, this paper examined methods of carcass disposal in Nigeria using African swine fever as a case study.

Presentation: session 2.1

In-House Composting Field Exercise for Broiler Breeders

Gary Flory, Robert Peer, Robert Clark, Joshua Payne

Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and Virginia Cooperative Extension,  Jones-Hamilton

During the US HPAI outbreak of 2015, composting was the main carcass disposal method with 95% of the impacted farms implementing this method to manage their animal carcasses. Even with the successful use of composting at many different types of operations across the country, questions still existed about it applicability for broiler breeder operations. The design and placement of equipment within these operations led many to believe that in-house composting was not practicable on these farms. In fact, in-house composting has never been used in the United States at a broiler breeder operation. Most of the farms impacted by the avian influenza outbreaks in the southeastern United States in 2017 were broiler breeder farms. Due to the challenges of composting within broiler breeder houses and the lack of experience with this method, on-site burial was selected to dispose of the carcasses, feed and manure from these infected farms. To address the questions surrounding the application of in-house composting at broiler breeder operations we collaborated with Virginia’s broiler breeder industry to conduct a field exercise. Both depopulation and the in-house composting of flock of broiler breeders were part of the exercise. The project proved successful and Virginia’s broiler breeder industry intends to utilize in-house composting for future outbreaks of avian influenza.

Presentation: session 2.3

Avian Influenza Mortality Management Options, Composting and Lessons

Josh Payne

The highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) outbreak has become the largest animal health emergency in U.S. history. As of April, 2018, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports 235 detections (214 commercial facilities and 21 backyard flocks) affecting approximately 50 million birds in 23 states. To date, over $950 million federal dollars have been spent on disease control efforts and indemnities. The infected birds have either died from the disease or been euthanized to control disease spread. Proper carcass management is vital for managing nutrients and controlling disease. Improper disposal may cause odor nuisance, spread disease, and the resulting leachate could negatively impact water sources. Mortality management options that were used during the recent HPAI outbreak include composting, burial, incineration, and landfilling. The most commonly implemented option was mass mortality composting. The purpose of mortality composting during the HPAI outbreak was to use biological heat treatment methods to degrade the carcass, inactivate the avian influenza virus, control odors and reduce fly exposure in a safe, biosecure, and environmentally sustainable manner. As a result of the outbreak, a national composting technical team was formed by the USDA, and a mortality composting protocol for avian influenza infected flocks was published. This presentation will outline mortality management options during an animal disease outbreak and highlight the composting methodology implemented on poultry operations during the HPAI outbreak, as well as the successes, challenges and lessons learned.

Presentation: session 2.4