Germany finds four new African swine fever cases in wild boar

FILE PHOTO: Customers wearing face masks buy pork meat at a wholesale market for agricultural products, as the country is hit by an outbreak of the novel coronavirus, in Beijing, China February 19, 2020. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang

HAMBURG (Reuters) - Four more cases of African swine fever (ASF) have been confirmed in wild boar in the eastern German state of Brandenburg, Germany’s federal agriculture ministry said on Wednesday.

The new discoveries bring the total number of confirmed cases to 69 since the first on Sept. 10. All were in wild animals with no farm pigs affected, the ministry said.

The latest cases were found in the same areas as the first discoveries, the ministry said.

The ministry has previously warned that more cases in wild boar have to be expected because the disease is highly infectious.

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

But German pig prices remained stable this week as dealers hope for more German pork sales inside the European Union as other EU pork producers sell more to China. [L8N2H546F]

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

Reporting by Michael Hogan; Editing by David Goodman