Pork Expo crowd

Pork producers and related businesses attend the World Pork Expo in Des Moines, Iowa.

The National Pork Producers Council took an extremely rare step in cancelling the 2019 World Pork Expo scheduled June 5-7 in Des Moines, Iowa.

“We completely understand that to cancel World Pork Expo is a tough decision that no one wants to make,” said Steve Rommereim, president of the National Pork Board and a pig farmer from Alcester, South Dakota. “But when it comes to the ongoing spread of African swine fever in Asia and Europe, caution must come first. We stand by our pig-farming partners in doing anything we can to stem the spread of this disease.”

The Pork Checkoff has been helping to inform producers’ response to African swine fever since it broke in China in August 2018. The fundamental purposes of the Checkoff are swine research, producer education and pork promotion. To that end, the organization has provided comprehensive information through a dedicated foreign animal disease web page located at pork.org/fad.

Key materials on the page that every pig farmer need to know center on protecting their herd through following biosecurity principles and ensuring every pig farm has a defined Premises Identification Number, or PIN, which are fundamental to the U.S. pork industry’s Secure Pork Supply plan. Details on the Secure Pork Supply plan are at securepork.org.

“We acknowledge the relatively low risk that World Pork Expo may have posed to the introduction of African swine fever to the U.S. But any risk needs to be managed – and that is our purpose at the National Pork Board,” Rommereim said. “This is a serious global issue and we need to maintain our commitment and oversight to managing this disease spread.”

Rommereim encourages all U.S. pig farmers to review the foreign animal disease preparation checklist and biosecurity steps to take, among other materials located on pork.org/fad.