Iowa pork producer concerned how world might react if ASF reaches Puerto Rico
There’s concern U.S. pork could be shut out of key export markets if African swine fever reaches Puerto Rico.
Northeast Iowa pork producer Mark Meirick says he’s heard foreign customers like China might stop importing pork from the U.S. if ASF is found in Puerto Rico because it’s a U.S. commonwealth.
“I’ve read that’s a possibility, and if that is true we have to really be careful because Puerto Rico is pretty close in that same Caribbean area.”
African swine fever was recently discovered in the Dominican Republic, marking the first time in nearly 40 years the virus has been confirmed in the Western Hemisphere.
“So if Puerto Rico gets it, maybe China says ‘well they are a U.S. commonwealth (so) all U.S. pork is banned.’ And if they say that, it’s not a matter of days or weeks, that could be months before that gets resolved. So even though you’ve got plans in place, it depends how the rest of the world reacts.”
He says Germany has done a good job limiting the spread of ASF to a small region, but China is still refusing to import German pork.
Brownfield interviewed Meirick Thursday at the Iowa State Fair.