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Swine fever concerns force cancellation of World Pork Expo

April 10, 2019

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Concerns about the spread of Africa swine fever to the U.S. have led organizers to cancel the World Pork Expo scheduled for June at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines.

The National Pork Producers Council’s board of directors announced its decision Wednesday. The annual June event brings about 20,000 visitors to Des Moines, including people and exhibitors from regions of the world where the disease has been diagnosed and is spreading.

The council says African swine fever affects only pigs and presents no human health or food safety risks. There is no vaccine to treat the swine disease.

There is a swine show during the event, but no pigs from other countries were expected to participate.

Council spokesman Jim Monroe says the risk isn’t zero for U.S. producers. For example, he says, some foreign visitor could unwittingly bring the virus along if his or her shoes were splattered with blood or feces from an infected animal.