World Pork Expo 2019 cancelled due to ASF
The National Pork Producers Council’s (NPPC) board in the USA has announced its decision to cancel the World Pork Expo 2019. This is a precaution as African swine fever (ASF) continues to spread in China and other parts of Asia.
World Pork Expo, held each June at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, hosts approximately 20,000 visitors over three days, including individuals and exhibitors from ASF-positive regions.
African swine fever affects only pigs and presents no human health or food safety risks. There is currently no vaccine to treat the swine disease.
“While an evaluation by veterinarians and other third-party experts concluded negligible risk associated with holding the event, we have decided to exercise extreme caution,” said David Herring, NPPC president, and a producer from Lillington, North Carolina.
“The health of the U.S. swine herd is paramount; the livelihoods of our producers depend on it. Prevention is our only defence against ASF and NPPC will continue to do all it can to prevent its spread to the United States.”
The decision to cancel this year’s World Pork Expo comes as more than 100 U.S pork producers gather in Washington this week to meet with their members of Congress during NPPC’s Legislative Action Conference.
Herring adds: “Our farmers are highly export dependent. An ASF outbreak would immediately close our export markets at a time when we are already facing serious trade headwinds.
“The retaliatory tariffs we currently face in some of our largest export markets due to trade disputes are among the factors that prompted a conservative decision regarding World Pork Expo. U.S. pork producers are already operating in very challenging financial condition.
“The widespread presence of African swine fever in China’s swine herd, the world’s largest by far, takes the threat of this swine disease to an entirely new level.
“We ask all producers, travellers and the general public to recognise the heightened risk since the first outbreak was reported in China last year and to heed biosecurity protocols in support of U.S. agriculture.”
African swine fever is a viral disease that causes high mortality in domestic and wild pigs. It spreads through close contact with infected animals or their excretions, or through feeding uncooked contaminated meat to susceptible pigs.
African swine fever affects only pigs and presents no human health or food safety risks. See recent article in the April edition of Meat Management magazine by Bob Bansback. Click Here