Animal mortality management continues to pose significant biosecurity, environmental, and economic challenges following natural disasters and animal disease outbreaks. To address some of these challenges, researchers are conducting projects on Above Ground Burial (AGB), grinding and composting, and the viability of the African Swine Fever virus in various environments. To date, approximately ten AGB research projects of various sizes have been conducted. These projects have evaluated a number of factors including the migration of nutrients, inactivation of pathogens, decomposition of carcasses, and potential for insects to spread disease. To address the challenges of composting catastrophic losses of livestock, researchers worked to operationalize a method of pre-processing large carcasses with horizontal bed grinders prior to composting or Above Ground Burial (AGB). The team conducted a proof-of-concept project followed by several operational-scale demonstrations. Researchers from Vietnam and the United States are exploring the fate of the African Swine Fever virus (ASFv) during the carcass composting process and in swine lagoon slurry. Both projects are designed to help pork producers improve African Swine Fever (ASF) outbreak response readiness and to help better respond to ongoing ASF outbreaks. The presentation will provide an update on the status of each of these projects.
Gary Flory is the Agricultural and Stormwater Program Manager for the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality. In this role, Gary provides leadership on numerous issues surrounding the nexus of agriculture, the environment and public health. Gary has been a lead investigator on numerous research projects focused on providing new tools in the fight against animal diseases and natural disasters affecting agriculture including many waste management and decontamination projects. Gary also founded G.A. Flory Consulting, a global consulting firm, to help clients with a range of services including animal disease and natural disaster response, agricultural emergency planning, and emergency response training. Gary has conducted trainings, given presentations and deployed on numerous animal disease outbreaks around the country and internationally to a number of countries including the Dominican Republic, Vietnam, Tunisia, Korea, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, and Azerbaijan. He also serves as a technical reviewer and Subject Matter Expert on agricultural issues for a variety of organizations including USDA, FAO, OIE and EPA.