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Mycotoxin Survey: Ongoing threat to animal welfare and farm productivity

06-12-2023 | |
Mycotoxin Survey: Ongoing threat to animal welfare and farm productivity

6 out of 10 samples tested found more than one type of mycotoxin, according to research published covering the first 9 months of this year.

The dsm-firmenich global survey for January to September included 16,587 samples from 86 countries, and found that 61% included more than one mycotoxin, 24% one mycotoxin and 15% which had no significant levels of detection.

The study found that Fusarium mycotoxins fumonisins, deoxynivalenol and zearalenone are most frequently found, with the highest regions of mycotoxins found in North and Central America, sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, China and Taiwan.

Among the highlights of the Q3 study were:

North American livestock is at high risk of Deoxynivalenol [DON] exposure with concentration levels at 75%. There is also a high risk of Fumonisins [FUM] and Zearalenone [ZEN] contamination at 53% and 55% respectively.

The main threat in South Asia stems from Aflatoxins, with 75% prevalence, whereas in the China/Taiwan region, FUM, DON and ZEN were most frequently found at 91%, 80% and 74% respectively.

Livestock in the sub-Saharan region is mostly challenged by DON, but also Aflatoxins concentrations are increased.

Mycotoxins are a continuous threat to animal health, with adverse effects impacting reproduction, digestive disorders and performance.

Ursula Hofstetter, Head of Mycotoxin Risk Management at dsm-firmenich, said the threat posed by mycotoxins was substantial: “Mycotoxins are a continuous threat to animal health, with adverse effects impacting reproduction, digestive disorders and performance.

“The latest results reveal that mycotoxins continue to pose a global threat to animal welfare and farm productivity, highlighting the importance of implementing the right mycotoxin management strategy,” she added.

Mycotoxins worse in Europe

There is evidence that the mycotoxin issue is worse in Europe compared to last year, with levels of ZEN [55% compared with 41, DON [58% compared with 44%], T2 [37% compared with 21%] all higher in the 6,472 samples taken.

However, this is not consistent across the globe with sub-Saharan Africa Middle East and North Africa seeing lower figures this year compared to last, albeit from lower sample levels. Trends for Asia, North America and Latin America were less clear.

Emerging mycotoxins

The company reported emerging mycotoxins were most commonly seen in corn – Aurofusarin 93%, Finished Feed – Tenuazonic acid – 92% and Straw – Emodin 94% and EnniatinB – 92%.

The study follows the results of Alltech’s preliminary European Harvest Analysis which suggest that mycotoxin risk – particularly from small grains, straw, and forages like grass and corn silage – is higher than in previous years, across all animal species.

It said the primary culprits were type B trichothecenes, other Penicillium mycotoxins, type A trichothecenes and zearalenone. Emerging mycotoxins top the list, with 91.1% of samples containing 2 or more mycotoxins.

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McDougal
Tony McDougal Freelance Journalist





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