World Pork Expo cancelled as a result of ASF threat

In the US, the National Pork Producers Council’s (NPPC) board of directors has today, Wednesday, April 10, announced its decision to cancel World Pork Expo 2019.

According to a statement from the NPPC, the move is “an abundance of caution” as African swine fever (ASF) continues to spread in China and other parts of Asia.

The World Pork Expo – held each June at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in the city of Des Moines – hosts approximately 20,000 visitors over three days, including individuals and exhibitors from ASF-positive regions.

ASF affects only pigs and presents no human health or food safety risks. There is currently no vaccine to treat the swine disease.

David Herring, NPPC president and a producer from North Carolina, said: “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.

“The health of the US swine herd is paramount; the livelihoods of our producers depend on it.

Prevention is our only defense against ASF, and the NPPC will continue to do all it can to prevent its spread to the US.

Herring explained: “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.”

Concluding, he said: “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 US agriculture.”

About ASF

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.

ASF affects only pigs and presents no human health or food safety risks.

World Pork Expo

Hosted by NPPC since 1987, the World Pork Expo is “the largest pork industry-specific trade show in the world” according to the NPPC.

It brings together pork producers and other industry professionals from around the world for three days of education, innovation and networking.