ASF discovered on pig farm in Germany close to Netherlands border

The worrying spread of African swine fever (ASF) in Germany continues, with two more cases confirmed on pig farms, including one close to the Netherlands border.

Around 280 pigs and 1,500 piglets on a farm in Emsland in Lower Saxony were due to be slaughtered on Sunday, the state farm ministry said, according to Reuters, after the virus was confirmed on the unit, which is just a few miles from the Dutch border. This was the first outbreak in domestic pigs in Lower Saxony, which is one of Germany’s most important pig farming regions.

Another outbreak has been confirmed in domestic pigs on a fattening unit with 1,300 pigs in the eastern state of Brandenburg, where ASF was first confirmed in wild boar in September 2020, close to the Polish border, Reuters reported.

The virus had been detected in dead animals, according to the state authorities. The animals were due to be slaughtered and epidemiological investigations into the cause of the entry have been launched, according to German pig industry body ISN.

This is not the first outbreak in domestic pigs in the state – in July 2021, ASF was discovered in three smaller herds in the state, while the virus has also been confirmed in more than 2,500 wild boar in the state.

These fresh outbreaks follow the discovery of ASF a farm in the south German state of Baden-Wuerttemberg close to the French border in May, while ASF has also been discovered in wild boar and domestic pigs in Italy.

The cases deal a further blow to Germany’s prospects of regaining its lost pork export markets, including into China.

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Editor of LBM titles Pig World and Farm Business and group editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer. National Pig Association's webmaster. Previously political editor at Farmers Guardian for many years and also worked Farmers Weekly. Occasional farming media pundit. Brought up on a Leicestershire farm, now work from a shed in the garden in Oxfordshire. Big fan of Leicester City and Leicester Tigers. Occasional cricketer.