The threat of African swine fever (ASF) has resulted in the cancellation of the 2019 edition of the World Pork Expo.

The event is held each June in Des Moines, Iowa and attracts approximately 20,000 visitors over three days.

The National Pork Producers Council in the U.S. made the decision as ASF continues to spread in China and other parts of Asia.

Canadian Pork Council Chair Rick Bergmann agreed with the decision.

"To recognize the intense issue at hand with how African swine fever does spread, I think they've made a very good judgement call on cancelling it for this year and by doing that, that will be eliminating a lot of travel to a state like Iowa that produces as much as all of Canada," he said. "I'm sure it was a difficult decision but it was a good decision."

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

The first ever international forum on ASF is scheduled to be held in Ottawa at the end of April.

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