Perhaps it is an overreaction. Perhaps it is an opportunity to cut back on costs. Perhaps it is neither or both, but I have heard of cases where major pig producers are keeping growing-finishing gilts back for breeding as they decided to stop bringing in new genetic stock in fear of introducing the African swine fever (ASF) virus to their herds.
One case in particular drew my attention: One producer decided to stop buying further genetic stock because the usual supplier was actively repopulating pig farms in ASF-stricken areas. If major expositions such as World Pork Expo in the U.S. have been canceled as an extreme precaution, then it is not difficult to understand why those who are in active contact (imaginary or not) with ASF are eschewed by those who fear their turn in getting out of this business might be next.
Speaking of people, I can also attest from my network that some consultants that have been in ASF-affected areas are no longer considered for business in certain non-affected areas. For that reason, consultants from the U.S. are in high demand in Asia, but some are reluctant to go there – at least those few I happen to know.
I am sure the same happens on raw materials, but this remains rather out of publicity for obvious reasons, although I have come across some cases of such behavior. I hope this trend does not become widespread and logic prevails.
I am sure we will see more on this issue once unaffected areas that hope to oversell to affected areas realize their hopes of such sales remain just that – hopes – and then real science will emerge on what should and should not be done.
View our continuing coverage of the African swine fever outbreak.