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How the coronavirus is affecting global pig events

The spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19) has impacted the organisation of several international agricultural events, while others are following the situation carefully.

An event staged for late March 2020 in Bangkok, Thailand, ’Victam and Animal Health and Nutrition Asia 2020’, has been postponed to July 9-11 because of the virus. The event’s organisers based their decision on the latest report by the World Health Organization (WHO), in which the risk assessment for the regional level as well as the global level changed from high to very high.

The recent spread of coronavirus (Covid-19) has caused many event organisations to be on the safe side and cancel or postpone their events – or at least consider doing so. Photo: Shutterstock
The recent spread of coronavirus (Covid-19) has caused many event organisations to be on the safe side and cancel or postpone their events – or at least consider doing so. Photo: Shutterstock

In a press release, Victam and VIV Worldwide, indicate that the decision has been taken after careful consideration and in the interest of exhibitors and visitors and, above all, to protect the health of all attendees. They wrote: “The organisers assessed that the actual situation will not guarantee the quality of the exhibition and will not create enough business opportunities for our exhibitors and visitors under the current circumstances.”

The organisations wrote that 80% of the exhibitors also agreed that postponement of the event would be the best solution and confirmed the decision to move their participation to July 2020, hoping that the situation will improve over the next few months.

The postponement also means that the event’s side symposiums for Pig Progress and All About Feed will be postponed until July 2020.

VIV MEA 2020 is also postponed

Another event organised by VIV Worldwide, VIV MEA 2020 in Abu Dhabi, was also postponed. This event, mostly focused on poultry and dairy production, was rescheduled to take place August 31 until September 2 instead of mid-March 2020.

ESPHM 2020 following the situation closely

Another pig-related event that might feel the effect of Covid-19 is the 12th edition of the European Symposium on Porcine Health Management (ESPHM), to be held in Bern, Switzerland in May 2020. In a press release, the organisers communicate that they are carefully observing the situation. In the country, since February 28 all events with more than 1,000 attendees have been suspended. The rules apply for now until March 15 with no decision having been taken for the time-frame after that date.

ESPHM president Heiko Nathues therefore added: “We expect that no extension will be put in place. At this moment, we are still planning and arranging the conference and do not intend to cancel the event. In case of any change that might force us to either postpone or to cancel the conference, we will inform our attendees, speakers and sponsors immediately.”

Several other company-related events in Europe have also been cancelled in the light of the spread of Covid-19. Even when disease pressure may not be high, the events could be cancelled due to a lack of delegates being present.