Germany reports first ASF cases in pig farms
After 10 months of fighting African Swine Fever in the wild boar population, Germany is confronted with a real threat for the pig sector in the country. The disease was found last week on two pig farms in the Brandenburg state (East Germany), while a third outbreak was confirmed over the weekend, with four pigs infected on a farm in the same area. "For almost a year we have been fighting against the enormous pressure of the disease from Poland. I very much regret the first cases in farm pigs, but sadly this possibility could never be fully ruled out," declared Brandenburg’s state health minister, Ursula Nonnemacher, quoted by the local newspapers.
More than 1500 ASF cases have been reported in the wild boar population since September 2020 and due to this situation, Germany has lost access in many international markets, especially in Asia.
The first ASF cases in domestic pigs - one on an organic farm with 200 head, and two others on small backyard farms - will not have a major impact on the country's pork exports as bans have been already put in place by third countries but triggers an alarm for the pig industry in Germany, which may see large farms impacted as well. This also complicates negotiations about lifting existing import bans with China and other major buyers, as experts say.
"I do not think the discovery on ASF on farms will have a significant market impact as Germany’s pork exports to third counties are already facing widespread export stops, including to the big buyer China and elsewhere in Asia. But it could perhaps make negotiations with importers like China over the regionalisation concept more difficult and import bans may be expected to remain in force for the foreseeable future," explains Tim Koch, meat analyst at German market consultancy AMI.
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