For the Week Ending September 24, 2021

September 24, 2021

ASF DETECTED IN HAITI
African swine fever (ASF) now has been confirmed in Haiti, which shares the Caribbean island of Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic. ASF was detected in the Dominican Republic in July. Last week, USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) suspended the interstate movement of all live swine, swine germplasm, swine products and swine byproducts from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to the U.S. mainland until the agency can establish sufficient mitigations to authorize such movement. Those U.S. territories, which are ASF-free, are close to Hispaniola. In August, APHIS announced its intent to establish a World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE)-recognized foreign animal disease protection zone around Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to prevent ASF from being introduced there or into the United States and to allow the continued flow of U.S. pork and live swine exports.

NPPC WORKING TO KEEP LIVESTOCK PRICE REPORTING GOING
NPPC staff have been working with the Biden administration, Congress and other livestock groups to ensure that authorization for the Livestock Mandatory Reporting Act (LMRA) does not lapse should the government shutdown. LMRA provides market information and critical transparency on pricing, contracting for purchase and supply-and-demand conditions for hogs; current authorization is set to expire Sept. 30. A lapse of funding and authority could halt USDA’s ability to publish reported prices, which would negatively affect pork producers.

IMMIGRATION REFORM LIKELY EXCLUDED FROM BUDGET RECONCILIATION MEASURE
Immigration reform likely will need to be achieved through something other than the budget reconciliation bill now that the Senate parliamentarian has ruled it can’t be attached to the $3.5 trillion, 10-year spending and revenue measure. Senate Democrats had proposed a plan to give legal status to up to 8 million immigrants, including DREAMers – children brought to the United States illegally – those with Temporary Protected Status who came from countries hit by natural disasters or civil unrest, “essential” workers and agricultural workers. Democrats may adjust their proposal as a way to make it eligible for the budget bill. Separately, President Biden will raise the annual cap on the number of refugees allowed into the country to 125,000, beginning Oct. 1. In May, the president raised the cap to 62,500 from 15,000, the limit set during the Trump administration. NPPC continues to urge Congress and the Biden administration to expand the existing H-2A visa for temporary, seasonal farm workers to year-round agricultural workers.

SENATE CONFIRMS TWO USTR DEPUTIES
The Senate this week confirmed Sarah Bianchi and Jayme White as deputy U.S. trade representatives, serving under USTR Ambassador Katherine Tai. Bianchi, who most recently was with Evercore ISI, a macroeconomic research group, where she oversaw public-policy research, served as then-Vice President Biden’s economic and domestic policy adviser from 2011 to 2019. She also served as deputy assistant to the president for economic policy. White has been with the Senate Finance Committee since 2009 and has served as the panel’s chief trade adviser since 2014. He was legislative director for committee chairman, Ron Wyden (D-OR). Prior to that, he worked for former Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA), who served on the House Committee on Ways and Means, which has jurisdiction over international trade. At USTR, Bianchi is expected to oversee Asia, Africa, investments, services, textiles and industrial competitiveness, while White will cover the Western Hemisphere, Europe, the Middle East, labor and the environment.

TRICHINAE PROGRAM TO BE ELIMINATED; NPPC BACKS SURVEILLANCE PROGRAM
USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) this week announced it is eliminating the Voluntary Trichinae Certification Program, an action intended to benefit the swine industry by removing any confusion about the trichinae-free status of exported pork. The U.S. commercial swine herd is free of trichinae, parasitic roundworms found in many warm-blooded carnivores and omnivores, including swine. NPPC has been working with USDA on a national surveillance program for trichinella that can be used to demonstrate that the U.S. pork industry meets the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization’s Codex standards for trichinella negligible risk.

USDA TO HOLD WEBINARS ON LIVESTOCK MANDATORY REPORTING
USDA will hold a series of educational webinars on the Livestock Mandatory Reporting (LMR) Program for pork producers. Set for Oct. 12, 19 and 26 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Central Time, the webinars will feature USDA Market News staff and a panel of pork industry representatives who will provide an overview of LMR live hog and wholesale pork reporting and how that data can be used to make marketing decisions at the farm and at other points in the supply chain.

NPPC’S WAGSTROM, FORMICA ADDRESS LEMAN CONFERENCE
NPPC’s Dr. Liz Wagstrom, chief veterinarian, and Michael Formica, assistant vice president and general counsel, this week gave presentations at the Allen D. Leman Swine Conference, an annual educational event for the global swine industry. Hundreds of participants, including more than 200 from other countries who joined virtually, attended the conference held in St. Paul, MN. Wagstrom discussed novel antimicrobial resistance patterns in Salmonella, while Formica gave an update on Proposition 12, California’s impending ban on pork from hogs that don’t meet the state’s new housing standards, which takes effect Jan. 1, 2022.

UN FOOD SYSTEMS SUMMIT HIGHLIGHTS ESSENTIAL ROLE FOR ANIMAL PROTEIN
The United Nations Food Systems Summit virtual event in New York City was held Sept. 23-24 as a follow-on to the UN Food Systems Pre-Summit held in Rome in late July. USDA Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack led the U.S. delegation, and an NPPC representative also attended the event. The summit focused on the UN’s 17 sustainable development goals, which rely on healthier, more sustainable and equitable food systems. NPPC also participated in a side event focused on global innovations in sustainable animal protein. Speakers discussed the essential role of animal protein that cannot be replaced by plant protein and the need to remain innovative through genetic research, advanced breeding and precision technology, among other issues.