Pork Producers Urge ASF Vigilance in Washington D.C.

Pork Producers to Washington 040819
African swine fever is threatening China's massive pork industry. ( MGN )

U.S. pork producers are heading to Capitol Hill this week to urgently voice concerns about African Swine Fever (ASF) even as China reports another case of ASF. 

More than 100 Pork Producers are heading to Washington for a conference hoping to get Congress to add 600 more ag inspectors at U.S. borders and customs. The goal is to blanket airports and seaports so ASF doesn't enter the country.
USDA and the National Pork Producers Council have been stepping up efforts already including strengthening border security and adding 60 more beagle teams to the hunt since March. 

Reuters is reporting the latest case of ASF is located in the southwestern province of Yunnan which brings the total to more than 100 cases since August.

Analysts like Don Close, an animal protein analyst at Rabo AgriFinance, say the news in China could even impact the U.S. poultry and beef markets. 

"Beef absolutely needs to be incorporated in that discussion," says Close.  "When you talk that 50% of the global hog supply is in China and we are seeing discussion of production levels down in the 20% to 30% bracket, it's going to have an impact on all proteins globally."

Close anticipates the Chinese will cut their consumption of domestic pork for fears ASF could impact humans even though veterinarians say ASF is not a threat to humans.