Health News

Germany finds three new African swine fever cases in wild boar

HAMBURG (Reuters) - Three more cases of African swine fever (ASF) have been confirmed in wild boar in the eastern German state of Brandenburg, the state government said on Thursday.

The new discoveries bring the total number of confirmed cases to 53 since the first one on Sept. 10, the Brandenburg state health ministry said. All were in wild animals with no farm pigs affected, it said.

Germany’s Friedrich-Loeffler scientific institute had confirmed the latest animals had ASF, the state ministry said.

China and other pork buyers banned imports of German pork in September after the first case was confirmed, causing Chinese pork prices to surge.

The disease is not dangerous to humans but it is fatal to pigs and a massive outbreak in China, the world’s biggest pork producer, and elsewhere in Asia led to massive changes in global pork trade flows.

German pig prices remain unchanged this week at 1.27 euros ($1.49) per kilogram despite a series of import bans after ASF was found in the country, the association of German animal farmers said on Wednesday.

Traders hope more demand will be created for German pork inside the European Union as other European producers such as the Netherlands, Denmark and Spain expand sales to Asia.

Reporting by Michael Hogan; Editing by Edmund Blair