National Pork Board's Bill Even on African Swine Fever and MoreTue, 17 Aug 2021 09:57:45 CDT
As U.S. officials and pork producers keep their fingers crossed in hopes that the Dominican Republic will manage reports of African Swine Fever (ASF) in the country, Bill Even, CEO of the National Pork Board told Radio Oklahoma’s own, Ron Hays that industry leaders are doing everything they can to keep the U.S. pork industry uninfected.
According to Even, ASF is a regulated foreign animal disease, which means if a nation finds swine infected with ASF, exports immediately stop. With ASF reported in the Dominican Republic, a huge concern is the proximity of the Dominican Republic to Puerto Rico - a territory of the U.S.
“This is the first time we’ve seen ASF in the western hemisphere since about 1980,” Even said. “If ASF spread to Puerto Rico, it would be viewed as if the disease was spreading in the (continental) U.S.”
In any given year, the U.S. exports between 25% and 30% of its total pork production, Even said. Besides the fact that ASF is a terrible disease for swine to go through, the loss of that much business would be financially devastating for U.S. pork producers.
While U.S. Pork Board leadership and members are working to prevent ASF, they are also preparing for it to spread to the U.S.
Click or tap the LISTEN BAR below to hear Ron’s full conversation with Bill Even, where they discuss diversifying U.S. pork markets, We Care and sustainability.
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