Pork Imports Now Allowed from Mexico

A new regulation will allow pork from Mexico to be imported into the U.S.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture finalized a regulation late last week that will allow all Mexican states to export pork to the U.S., reports the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC). The group supports the new regulation.

USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is implementing a science-based risk assessment that determined Mexico is free of Classical Swine Fever (CSF), a news release from NPPC states. Classical Swine Fever is a highly contagious viral disease in pigs, which was eradicated from the U.S. in the late 1970s. APHIS in 2016 concluded that the risk of CSF from pork imports from Mexico is negligible, NPPC reports.

“The U.S. 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, a pork producer from Carlyle, Ill. said in the news release. “Mexico in 2017 was our No. 2 export market, so maintaining our good relationship with that country by ensuring fair and reciprocal trade is paramount for our producers.”

Through November last year, approximately $1.4 billion of pork was exported to Mexico from the U.S.

According to NPPC, Mexico in late 2007 requested market access to the U.S. for pork from the eight states in its central region but later amended that request to include all Mexican states. APHIS at that time conducted multiple reviews and “determined Mexico’s control program for CSF was not sufficient to classify the country as negligible risk for the disease.”

Through a Globall Based Initiative, USDA’s Foreign Agriculture Service provided funding to assist Mexico with improving its control program. Through the grant, “Mexican officials received training in foreign animal disease diagnostics at USDA’s Plum Island Animal Disease Center and in-country training on case management and control activities,” NPPC said in the news report. It said a subsequent review by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) determined that Mexico was free of CSF.