The National Pork Producers Council’s board of directors announced on April 10, 2019, 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.
The Iowa Pork Producers Association supports the NPPC decision. While ASF affects only pigs and presents no human health or food safety risks, this viral disease could be catastrophic to Iowa pig farmers and the state’s economy if it was introduced to the Iowa herd.
- Iowa’s pork industry creates $36.7 billion in economic activity that includes not only the sales of pigs, but also main street businesses that provide feed and supplies, as well as pork processing plants.
- Nearly 142,000 Iowa jobs are related to pork processing; that’s about 1 in 12 jobs in the state.
- Iowa’s corn and soybean farmers would also see their markets impacted since Iowa pigs eat the equivalent of 25% of all corn and soybeans grown in the state.
There is currently no vaccine to treat ASF.
“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 defense against ASF and NPPC will continue to do all it can to prevent its spread to the United States.”
IPPA continues to support and appreciate all the work that USDA – APHIS (Animal Plant Health and Inspection Service) and the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol are doing to prevent ASF from entering the U.S.
If you are hosting international travelers coming to Iowa, or plan to travel out of country yourself, IPPA asks that you follow all the biosecurity procedures that are provided during travel. Additionally, IPPA has purchased broad spectrum disinfectants to share with any groups traveling abroad, even if they are not visiting farms. Travel to wet markets and packing plants is just as risky for disease transmission as direct animal/farm contact.
Swine Show Still Planned
The National Swine Registry has new event logistics and details that they are confirming, as they intend to still hold their live hog show June 2-8, 2019. There are 1,350 youth from 32 states signed up to participate in the Junior National show, which is hosted by National Junior Swine Association and Team Purebred.