Germany, Europe's largest pork producer, confirmed its first case of African swine fever (ASF) in a wild boar in the eastern state of Brandenburg.
A wild boar carcass, found near the German-Polish border, was taken in for tests at Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut laboratory, according to Reuters. German agriculture minister Julia Kloeckner confirmed the carcass tested positive for ASF at a press conference on Thursday.
Germany has been prepared to respond in the event ASF would be discovered in its borders. According to Kloeckner, the country will implement measures to prevent possible spread of the virus from the Spree-Neisse region near the Polish border where the boar was discovered. Measures include limiting movement of people and vehicles out of the affected region and bans on farming and targeted culling of wild boars.
Asian countries, including China, regularly impose import bans on pork from regions where ASF has been discovered. On Thursday, South Korea banned imports of pork from Germany, the South Korean agriculture ministry said in a Reuters article.
According to the Daily Sabah, Kloeckner said the German government has been in contact overnight with China. A formal agreement does not exist between the two countries about ASF. From January to April, Germany exported 158,000 tons of pork to China – twice the tonnage from the same period in 2019, according to the Daily Sabah.
Germany is stressing the principle of regionality, and encouraging buyers to impose import restrictions only on a region of a supply country that has been hit by a serious animal disease.
When threats of ASF surfacing in Germany began to rise in November 2019, the German Association of Pig Farmers urged farmers not to panic and to continue to implement consistent biosecurity measures.
In July, fencing along the German-Polish border was extended in stepped-up efforts to prevent ASF being spread to Germany by wild boars. The 62-km (38-mile) fence added to some 240 km of barriers put up along the frontier - over half its total length - by German states earlier this year after the ASF disease was found in wild boar in Poland only 15 km from German territory, according to Reuters.
ASF is a deadly disease of both wild and domestic pigs. It does not affect humans and poses no risk to food safety. However, the disease is causing major disruption of the global animal protein market. For more information about the spread of ASF, visit www.porkbusiness.com/ASF.
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