Germany reports two more African swine fever cases on-farm - ministry

Two more case of African swine fever (ASF) have been confirmed in farm pigs in Germany, reported Reuters, citing Germany’s federal agriculture ministry.

One was in the western state of Lower Saxony which was previously free of the disease and one in the eastern state of Brandenburg where the disease has been found before.

Some 280 pigs and 1,500 piglets on the farm in Emsland in Lower Saxony will be slaughtered on Sunday, the Lower Saxony state farm ministry said separately. Lower Saxony is a huge region for pig farming in Germany.

China and a series of other pork buyers banned imports of German pigmeat in September 2020 after the first case was confirmed in wild animals. Discoveries on farms will make it harder for Germany to get the export bans lifted, analysts say.

The disease is not dangerous to humans but it is fatal to pigs. Many countries impose bans on pork from regions suffering from the disease, distorting world food trade.

Wild boar coming into Germany from Poland were believed to have spread the disease to Germany in the eastern states of Brandenburg and Saxony, where over 2,000 cases in wild animals have occurred.

The German government has been seeking to contain and eradicate ASF in the east partly by reducing the wild boar population. But the country’s large number of wild boar, wandering over large distances, has made containment difficult.

In May, another ASF case was also found on a farm in the south German state of Baden-Wuerttemberg.