The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) Board of Directors announced last week the World Pork Expo, scheduled for June in Des Moines, has been cancelled to avoid potentially spreading African swine fever (ASF). More than 20,000 individuals and exhibitors, some from ASF-positive regions, typically attend the event.
NPPC President David Herring, a producer from North Carolina, said while an evaluation by veterinarians and other third-party experts concluded there would be “negligible risk” associated with holding the expo, the group decided to cancel it out of extreme caution. He said the widespread presence of ASF in China, which has the world’s largest swine herd by far, “takes the threat of this swine disease to an entirely new level."
ASF is a viral disease that causes high mortality in domestic and wild pigs. It spreads through close contact with infected animals or their secretions. Feeding uncooked, contaminated meat to susceptible pigs is another method of transmission. The disease affects only pigs and presents no threat to human health or food safety.