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Hog industry losing $2.5 million a day, says NPPC

The pork industry is taking a beating from public reaction to the H1N1 outbreak and some inaccurate media coverage linking the human illness to pigs. Nick Giordano with the National Pork Producers Council international trade division says the hog industry is losing at least $2.5 Million a day, “You know, which is about five, six dollars a head. And you add that to the money the industry is already been losing, in fact producers have been losing money 19 straight months, is an ugly situation.”Despite proclamations by the WTO, the OIE and the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization that the virus is not spread by eating pork, major buyers Russia and China, and 11 other pork customers, continue their total or partial trade bans on U.S. pork products and live swine..
“China’s getting pretty tough because they’ve got about 30 states now. But, Russia’s got a handful of states. We can still ship there. Not easy – it’s some logistical hurdles for the industry.”

Giordano says Honduras might drop its pork import restrictions soon. And, the US Trade Representative’s office and USDA are working to get other countries like Ukraine to lift restrictions while trying to keep others, like the Philippines, from adding them.

With recent reports that a Canadian worker got sick in Mexico and spread the virus to an Alberta hog herd, U.S. officials and the pork industry insist the new disease still has not been found in the U.S. herd.

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