National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) President Jon Caspers says the release of Australia’s final risk assessment on pork imports moves the NPPC very close to supporting the recently approved U.S.-Australian Free Trade Agreement.

“Unfortunately, the Australian government is recommending that U.S. pork imports be restricted because of concerns about the transmissibility of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) and postweaning multisystemic wasting syndrome (PMWS) through imported pork to Australian hogs,” says Caspers. “The risk assessment limits the U.S. to the Australian market for processed pork or unprocessed pork for further processing in Australia. We are not being permitted to sell unprocessed U.S. pork to the Australian consumer.”

The U.S. should have complete access to the Australian market because there is no significant risk of spread of PRRS and PMWS from imported pork to domestic livestock.