Pork producers and allied industry veterans will be missing their annual trip to Des Moines in 2019. In a move designed to help keep African swine fever out of the country, the National Pork Producers Council has announced cancellation of the 2019 World Pork Expo.
Held each June at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, the event draws about 20,000 visitors over three days, including exhibitors and individuals from countries impacted by ASF. The disease only affects pigs and represents no human health or food safety risks; currently there is no vaccine against the disease.
In a media statement announcing the cancellation, David Herring, NPPC president and North Carolina producer, noted that an evaluation by veterinarians and other third-party experts concluded there was minimal risk of holding the event, but officials decided to “exercise extreme caution. 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.”