South Africa Must Lift Partial Ban on U.S. Pork

NPPC’s Position

NPPC wants full market access for U.S. pork, including offal, heat-treated products, and casings to South Africa. The country must lift its partial ban on U.S. pork for which there is no science-based reason.


South Africa in January 2016 agreed to partially lift its ban on U.S. pork, allowing imports of a limited number of raw, frozen pork cuts for unrestricted sale and other pork cuts for further processing. Despite this development, South Africa continues to block U.S. pork products based on concerns over two animal diseases: Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS) and Pseudorabies Virus (PRV). The United States has provided information to the South African government demonstrating that U.S. pork is safe and poses a negligible risk of transmission of the diseases. Regardless, South Africa insists on enforcing costly and burdensome non-science-based requirements on U.S. pork.

Those requirements include:

  • PRRS: South Africa restricts pork from countries with PRRS, claiming it is free from the disease and that imported pork from PRRS-positive countries poses a risk to its swine herd. There never has been a case of PRRS being transmitted through legally imported fresh, chilled or frozen pork. South Africa’s PRRS-related restrictions on U.S. pork are inconsistent with international standards. The World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) sees trade in live animals and genetics as posing a PRRS threat but does not recognize trade in pork meat products as posing a risk of transmitting the disease.
  • PRV: South Africa restricts pork from countries with PRV, claiming it is free from the disease and that imported pork from countries with the disease pose a risk of spreading PRV to its swine herd. The U.S. commercial pig herd was declared free of PRV in 2003. There is no scientific justification for South Africa to apply this restriction to U.S. pork.
  • Trichinae Mitigation: South Africa requires pork imports, except frozen product, to be tested for trichinae. According to USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, there is negligible risk of trichinella in the U.S. commercial pig herd because of robust biosecurity protocols and modern production systems. There has not been a case of trichinella detected in the U.S. commercial pig herd for more than a decade.
Fast Facts

61 metric tons

(MT) was the total amount of U.S. pork exported to South Africa in 2021, down from 486 MT in 2020.


was the value of U.S. pork shipped to South Africa last year. Just four years ago, the U.S. pork industry exported nearly $862,000 of product to that country.

The potential for U.S. pork exports to South Africa is significant given that pork meat is an important protein in that country, which produces only 0.5% of the world’s pork.

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