ShapeShapeauthorShapechevroncrossShapeShapeShapeGrouphamburgerhomeGroupmagnifyShapeShapeShaperssShape

World Pork Expo cancelled due to swine fever fears

The threat of African swine fever is forcing the cancellation of the world’s largest pork industry-specific trade show this year.

10 April 2019, at 2:18p.m.

The National Pork Producers Council‘s board of directors today announced its decision to cancel World Pork Expo 2019 out of an abundance of caution 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.

"The health of the US 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 US pork producers gather in Washington, DC, this week to meet with their members of Congress during NPPC's Legislative Action Conference. To augment the US Department of Agriculture's efforts to protect the US from ASF and other animal diseases, US pork producers are asking Congress to appropriate funding for 600 new US Customs and Border Protection agriculture inspectors to further strengthen defences against ASF.

"Our farmers are highly export dependent," Herring said. "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. US pork producers are already operating in very challenging financial conditions."

Herring added, "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 US agriculture."

Hosted by NPPC since 1987, the World Pork Expo is the world's largest pork industry-specific trade show in the world. It brings together pork producers and other industry professionals from around the world for three days of education, innovation and networking.