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South Africans study HPAI response in U.S. tour

May 22, 2024

USAPEEC Manager Global Marketing Jena Gress, USAPEEC Veterinary Trade Advisor Dr. John Clifford, and USAPEEC Africa office consultant Zelda Sharp, along with a team of USDA APHIS and FAS officials, accompanied a delegation from the South Africa Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development’s Bureau of Market Access (DALRRD BMA) on their recent multi-stop visit to the U.S. where they came to gain firsthand knowledge of U.S. procedures for dealing with HPAI prevention, detection, and response.

The week-long visit included stops at:

  • The Georgia Poultry Laboratory Network (GPLN), where the delegation received an overview of the National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP) from NPIP staff and toured laboratory facilities.
  • Cobb Headquarters where they heard a presentation on biosecurity and compartmentalization strategies for HPAI control. They also participated in a “windshield tour” of Cobb’s grandparent poultry facility located in Hartwell, Ga.
  • In North Carolina, the delegation visited the North Carolina Center for Poultry Education, a Perdue live broiler facility, for insights into state-level HPAI management practices.
  • Lineage Cold Storage in Statesville, N.C., to learn about the processes used to ensure the integrity of seals on export containers for poultry products.
  • The Mountaire processing facility in Siler City, N.C., followed by a presentation from the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) on the agency’s role in HPAI prevention and ensuring the safety of the U.S. food supply.

    Participants in the tour included:

    Cobb: Alberto Torres, Melissa Phillips, Kyle Traeger; Lineage: John Baker, Stephanie Ansardi; Mountaire: Florina Popa; DALRRD BMA: Dr. Nadia De Beer, Dr. Khomotso Patrick Matsemela,Dr. Marietta Swanepoe, Dr. Maleho Machedi, Dr. Mphane Molefe; USDA FAS Pretoria: Makoma Makgopa; USDA APHIS: Dr. Dawn Hunter, Dr. Fidel Hegngi, Dr. Kate Bowers, Mariusz Tadych (APHIS Pretoria); USAPEEC: Zelda Sharp, John Clifford, Jena Gress