African swine fever: killer disease registered in Germany | World | news
Health authorities registered an outbreak of the disease in a herd of pigs in the northern state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. The Federal Ministry of Agriculture confirmed the evidence of ASF which is harmless to humans after samples were examined in the pig fattening on Monday.
The ministry added it was the first time traces of ASF, a deadly viral infection in pigs and wild boars, were found in the region.
The source of the outbreak is not yet known and all animals have been removed from the farm.
The German pig breeding organization ISN said: “Unfortunately, the fear has been confirmed that at least a selective spread of ASF in Germany cannot be prevented.
“Now it is important that the causes for the entry into the fattening farm are determined and that the control strategies that have already been started take effect on site.
“In contrast to the ASF cases in wild boar, the virus occurrence in fattening pigs can be precisely limited and specifically controlled.”
Earlier cases of illness were found in three companies in East Germany in July.
Over 2,000 wild boars became infected and were killed on farms across Brandenburg and Saxony.
ASF is endemic to sub-Saharan Africa and reached eastern parts of Europe in 2007, according to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).
According to EFSA, the first case of illness was confirmed in a wild boar in the Spree-Neisse district in Brandenburg on September 10, 2020.
The outbreak caused enormous economic problems for farmers across Germany.
China and other major nations banned the import of German pork after the fall.
Pigs and wild boars infected with ASF are prone to typical flu-like symptoms such as fever, vomiting and difficulty breathing.
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The first case of the disease reached the European Union in 2014 when it was detected in Latvia and Estonia, EFSA said.
She added that by the end of 2019 it was present in nine EU Member States, namely Belgium, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Romania.
Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg.