The pig industry is feeling the effect of the global pandemic caused by the coronavirus (Covid-19) even stronger. At least 3 more major international events have been suspended or cancelled for the time being. In the meantime, pig industry members share their own updates and recommendations.
The next international pig event to be added to the list of postponed events is the annual European Symposium of Pig Health Management (ESPHM), originally planned to be held from April 29 until May 1, in Bern, Switzerland. On their website, the organisers indicate that the event will be held virtually one year later, now April 14-16, 2021.
On its website, the ESPHM wrote: “Currently our 2 major aims as organisers of the symposium are protecting our delegates and speakers from becoming infected by SARS-CoV-2 during travelling for or meeting at the ESPHM, and also significantly contributing to the prevention of any further spread of the virus; this can only be achieved by suspending the current event schedule.”
Prevention of further spread of SARS-CoV-2; ESPHM 2020 has been postponed to 14th-16th April 2021. We cordially regret the inconvenience this decision might cause for you: we have to reduce any risk that might be caused by travel and attendance to such an international meeting. pic.twitter.com/WpvLSmVCr6
— ESPHM2020 (@esphm2020) March 13, 2020
Also another major event, the congress of the International Pig Veterinary Society (IPVS) has been rescheduled to be held from November 3-6, 2020. Originally this event was supposed to take place early June in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
On its website, the organisation wrote: “Due to our commitment to the safety and well-being of everyone involved, we announce the suspension of the activities for the next 45 days.”
IPVS2020 ANNOUNCEMENT #ipvs2020 #animalhealth #veterinary #health #pigs #production #pesquisa #carnesuina #leitao #producaosuina #veterinaria #medicinaveterinaria #zootecnia #swine #abraves #suinoculturaforte #saudeanimal #granja #pork #porkcolombia #pigfarming #piglets pic.twitter.com/DWrRZPa7H7
— ipvs2020 (@ipvs20202) March 16, 2020
For UK pig professionals, things are gloomy as well. In the United Kingdom, the biannual Pig and Poultry Fair was to be held 12-13 May, 2020 in Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire – but this show was cancelled too, the show mentioned on its Facebook page. The decision was made after UK government advice indicated that gatherings should not take place.
At a later stage, it will be reviewed what might be alternative options for the show to be held.
Earlier, Victam Asia (to be held in Bangkok, Thailand) was already postponed from March to July, and the China Animal Husbandry Expo (Changsha, China) was moved from May to September. So far, the World Pork Expo (June; Des Moines, IA, USA) has not communicated whether or not it will go on. Last year the show was canceled to avoid African Swine Fever to come to the United States.
Various suppliers to the pig business have also communicated what they think is good or correct to do in an attempt to get through this Covid-19 situation as smoothly as possible. In Argentina, for instance, pig breeder Topigs Norsvin reminded its customers to not shake hands, wash hands regularly and what to do to avoid contamination.
Pork producers can generally expect a lower level of interaction with the agribusiness as many companies have announced to take additional safety measures.
For instance, Danish animal nutrition company Hamlet Protein emphasised that its products do not pose any risk for contamination with the corona virus. Additionally, it took “initiatives to secure our production and more importantly, to protect our staff and customers.”
In Austria, Biomin announced a series of measures too, including that an international travel ban has been organised for all employees and consultants, a home office duty applies to most employees and that there is a strict limitation of external visits to offices and production facilities.