Germany confirms seven more swine fever cases in wild boar

FILE PHOTO: A note reading "African swine fever in wild pigs, key area" near Gross Drewitz, Spree-Neisse, Germany September 12, 2020. REUTERS/Annegret Hilse

HAMBURG (Reuters) - A further seven 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 Monday.

The new discoveries bring total confirmed cases to 20 since the first one on Sept. 10. All were found close to the first case and involve wild boar, with no farm animals affected.

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

China and a series of other pork buyers banned imports of German pork in past days after the first case was confirmed.

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, has led to hundreds of millions of pigs being culled.

The ministry had warned on Thursday that more cases in wild boar are to be expected as the animals move around in groups and the disease is easily transferable.

Prices for breeding (weaner) piglets in Germany have fallen sharply in past weeks following the discovery of ASF in the country, traders said on Monday.

Reporting by Michael Hogan; editing by David Evans