The annual World Pork Expo has been canceled for the second year in a row over disease concerns, this time due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The news came by way of an NPPC press release Monday afternoon. Last year, organizers called off the expo out of an “abundance of caution” as African Swine Fever ripped through the global pork herd. The disease has not yet been detected in the United States.

This year, NPPC’s board voted to cancel the event — originally scheduled for June 3-5 at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines — due to human health concerns as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread across the country. In a statement, NPPC President Howard “A.V.” Roth said the group’s board unanimously decided to cancel the event.

“By eliminating COVID 19-related uncertainty surrounding the event, we allow producers and others across the industry to focus on the essential role we play in the nation's food supply system at this critical time,” he said.

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According to NPPC, the three-day event typically hosts more than 20,000 people. Roth said the focus now shifts to adapting to doing business in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak and preparing for next year’s expo.

“We will do our part to support the nation's transition back to normalcy and look forward to making next year's World Pork Expo better than ever,” he said.

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