All Mexican states can now sell pork to its northern neighbour, after the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) finalised a rule stating Mexico is free from classical swine fever (CSF).
US-based National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) supported the effort to allow Mexico to export a range of pig-based products to America, signalling the country is not as protectionist as Donald Trump’s protectionist policies would have one believe.
“The US pork industry is a strong supporter of free trade and of using epidemiological science and risk analyses to determine if trade can be safely conducted between countries,” said NPPC president Ken Maschhoff.
Maschhoff, a pork producer from Illinois, added: “Mexico in 2017 was our number two export market, so maintaining our good relationship with that country by ensuring fair and reciprocal trade is paramount for our producers.”
Swine fever fund
The USDA ruled Mexico is free from CSF more than decade after the latter requested pork market access from the former in 2007.
At the time of the request, the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Agency (APHIA) carried out multiple reviews to establish if Mexico’s disease control programme was sufficient to classy the disease risk as negligible. It was not.
Due to the strong political and business links between the two, the USDA funded an initiative to help Mexico improve its disease control systems.
Through the grant, Mexicans were trained in foreign animal disease diagnostics at the USDA’s Plum Island Animal Disease Centre, New York. In-country training on disease management and how to control an outbreak were also carried out while subsequent visits by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) ruled that Mexico was free from CSF.