ASF has not been detected in North America, but has spread across Asia
The National Pork Producers Council has canceled its major summer event out of an “abundance of caution” as African Swine Fever (ASF) continues to be found in China and some other Asian countries.
Although ASF has not been detected in North America, it has spread across Asia, especially China, and Europe and has resulted in the depopulation of a large number of pigs.
“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,” NPPC President David Herring said. “The health of the U.S. swine herd is paramount; the livelihoods of our producers depend on it. Prevention is our only defense against ASF and NPPC will continue to do all it can to prevent its spread to the United States.”
Herring added that an already difficult trade climate was a factor in the decision to cancel the event.
“An ASF outbreak would immediately close our export markets at a time when we are already facing serious trade headwinds,” Herring said. “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 conditions," he added.
Background. NPPC’s board of directors announced its decision as ASF continues to spread in China and other parts of Asia. The 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. This year's event was slated for June 2-8. 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.