Consumers will Stop Buying Pork if AFS Hits the U.S.

Bill Even, CEO of the National Pork Board, says the results of consumer research have amplified the need to promote safety in the event of a large foreign animal disease outbreak. Swine Web Dot Com says at the onset of the African Swine Fever crisis in 2018, the checkoff polled consumers about their perceptions of the safety of pork. After giving consumers more information about how it’s a viral disease in pigs, not humans, and telling them it’s not a public health threat, more than half of the consumers who responded to the checkoff survey say they would stop eating pork if ASF was found in the U.S. Consumers wondered in the event of an outbreak if the public “should be eating pork.” Others asked if it should still be for sale in the store in the event of an ASF outbreak. Hispanic respondents, who tend to eat more pork than other consumer demographics, had even more concern about the ability to have pork on the shelves that’s safe for consumers to eat. Even says the checkoff, along with partners like USDA, has developed video resources for consumers that are available in case there is a disease outbreak. “Rest assured, there will be millions of dollars at the ready should we have an event occur around a foreign animal disease,” Even says.