Germany finds African swine fever case in wild boar near farm case

HAMBURG (Reuters) - A case of African swine fever (ASF) has been found in a wild boar in the eastern German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, close to a case found on a farm in the state earlier in November, the federal agriculture ministry said on Thursday.

The source of the farm case in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern has been unclear as wild boar in the state were not previously reported to have the disease. The region is near Brandenburg and Saxony states where more than 2,700 ASF cases have been reported in wild animals.

The federal ministry said on Thursday the case of ASF in a wild boar in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern had been found in a dead animal near a motorway.

Animal droppings caught in vehicle tyres have been known to spread the disease in other countries.

Wild boars wandering into Germany from Poland have spread ASF, which is harmless to humans but fatal for pigs and causes major loss of pork exports for countries where the disease is present.

China and other pork buyers banned imports of German pork in September 2020 after the first ASF case was found in wild animals.

Germany has been seeking to contain the disease in east Germany and eradicate it by a protective corridor between two fences. In the zone inside the two fences the wild boar population would be reduced to zero by intensified hunting.

Germany said on Thursday it was continuing talks with China about “regionalisation” which stops pork imports only from regions of a country where swine fever has been found instead of a blanket ban on sales from the whole country.

Analysts say Germany has been successful containing the disease but continuing discoveries in wild animals means China and other big pork buyers may not lift their import bans on German pork. [nL8N2S749L

Reporting by Michael Hogan; Editing by Edmund Blair