ASF spreads nearer to the German border

The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) has said that Poland recorded 55 outbreaks of African swine fever in wild boar near the German border in December.

Reuters reported on a report, posted on the OIE website, which showed that the disease – which has devastated herds in the world’s top pork producer China – had now been found in a village less than 30 kilometres (18.6 miles) from Germany.

Germany’s government said in December that it was stepping up measures to prevent an outbreak of ASF after a case was discovered in Poland close to its border.

A majority of the outbreaks reported by the Polish farm ministry to the OIE were discovered between December 4 and December 23 in neighbouring villages in the states of Lubuskie and Wielkopolskie.

There are fears in Germany that its exports of pork to China and other Asian countries could be threatened, with import bans regularly imposed on pig meat from regions where African swine fever has been discovered.

Authorities in German states bordering Poland have built fences in an attempt to stop wild boars wandering into Germany and spreading the disease.

A series of 90cm high fences similar to those used to close farm fields were built by the state of Brandenburg in December while the state also relaxed hunting restrictions to allow more shooting of boar, the state agriculture ministry said.

The state of Saxony said it is this week building a 4.5km electrified fence along a high risk sector close to the border with Poland.

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