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Germany finds two more African swine fever cases, one in new area

The town sign of Gross Drewitz is seen with a note reading "African swine fever in wild pigs, key area", Gross Drewitz, Spree-Neisse, Germany September 12, 2020. [ Reuters]

Two more cases of African swine fever (ASF) have been confirmed in wild boars in the eastern German state of Brandenburg, with one found outside the area of the first discoveries, the federal agriculture ministry said on Wednesday.

One new discovery was confirmed in the Maerkisch-Oderland district in Brandenburg outside of the area close to the Polish border where the first cases were found, the ministry said.

The second case was inside the original area, it added.

 “The state of Brandenburg must now undertake an appropriate adaptation of the existing protection zones and protection measures to prevent a further expansion of the disease,” the ministry said.

The new discoveries bring total confirmed cases to 38 since the first on Sept. 10. All were in wild animals with no farm pigs affected, the ministry said.

The Friedrich-Loeffler scientific institute confirmed the latest animals had ASF, the ministry said. More cases in wild boar have to be expected as the disease is highly infectious, it said.

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.

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 German government is considering aid to farmers after prices fell following the discovery of ASF in wild animals in the country, Germany’s agriculture minister Julia Kloeckner said on Friday.

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