Mexican flag Getty Images/Dennis Grombkowski

USDA lifts rule allowing pork from Mexico to be imported

APHIS recognizes Mexico as free of classical swine fever

Source: USDA and National Pork Producers Council

USDA finalized a regulation that will allow all Mexican states to export pork to the United States, a move supported by the National Pork Producers Council. Implementing a science-based risk assessment, the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service determined Mexico is free of classical swine fever, highly contagious viral disease in pigs.

“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. “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.”

At the request of Mexico’s government, APHIS completed a thorough review, which included updating its initial risk assessment in 2016 following a 2015 site visit. Using this information, APHIS determined that the risk of introducing CSF into the United States through imports of live swine, swine genetics, pork and pork products is very low. These items can safely be imported following the conditions outlined in APHIS’ import regulations, while still protecting the United States against CSF.

The regulations require pork or pork products: be accompanied by a certificate issued by a Mexican government veterinary officer, and the pork or pork products must come from swine raised and slaughtered in regions APHIS considers CSF-free. APHIS previously recognized specific regions within Mexico as free of CSF, and the certifications previously used for those regions can be used for the entire country.

While APHIS is removing most of the CSF restrictions on these items from Mexico, APHIS must still consider other animal health concerns related to the import of live swine and swine genetics. APHIS will address these issues in import protocols for the commodities, consistent with the agency’s domestic swine programs and swine health status.

CSF is a highly contagious viral disease in pigs. It was eradicated from the United States in the late-1970s after a long effort from the industry, state and federal government.

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