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 boars in the eastern German state of Brandenburg, Germany’s federal agriculture ministry said on its website on Monday.

The new discoveries bring the total number of confirmed ASF cases to 49 since the first one was detected on Sept. 10. All the cases were in wild animals so far, with no farm pigs affected, the ministry said.

The latest cases were found in the same area of the first discoveries, the ministry said. A case had on Wednesday been found in a new area about 60 kilometres away from the first.

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

German authorities are continuing intensive searches for dead wild boar in Brandenburg to assess the extent to which the disease has spread.

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

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

Reporting by Michael Hogan, editing by Rashmi Aich