WASHINGTON — After meetings with Mexican government officials on market access issues, the National Pork Producers Council urged the U.S. government to make a top priority completion of risk assessments for Classical Swine Fever in a number of Mexican states.
On behalf of its pork producers, Mexican officials in Washington raised concerns about reciprocal market access to the U.S. pork market because some Mexican states have yet to be declared disease-free by the USDA. The Mexican government has said the states are free of Classical Swine Fever, or hog cholera, a highly contagious viral disease of pigs.
USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has cleared a number of Mexican states and is conducting risk assessments on eight others that have pork operations.
“NPPC supports a science-based decision regarding the importation of Mexican pork and pork products into the United States, and we have urged APHIS to make completion of its risk assessments for the remaining Mexican states a high priority,” said council president Bryan Black, a pork producer from Canal Winchester, Ohio.
“We also have urged APHIS to quickly begin the rule-making process to allow Mexican pork imports once the risk assessments have been completed.”
In 2007, Mexico exported $34.5 million of pork products to the U.S., while the U.S. shipped nearly $450 million of pork to Mexico, making the country the No. 3 destination for U.S. pork. Through August of this year, U.S. pork exports to Mexico were $417 million.