Germany’s Battle With Pig Virus Worsens as Case Reaches New Area

Germany’s fight to contain a fatal pig virus is growing more difficult after an infected wild boar was found outside the recently affected area.

Two additional boar were confirmed positive for African swine fever, bringing the outbreak to 38 wild animals since it first struck Europe’s top pork producer three weeks ago, the Agriculture Ministry said Wednesday. While all cases remain in the Brandenburg region, one of the new findings is in Maerkisch Oderland, outside the prior containment zone and near the Polish border.

“The state of Brandenburg must now adapt the existing protection zones and protective measures accordingly in order to prevent the disease from spreading,” the ministry said.

Germany already has takenextreme lengths to control the disease, which isn’t harmful to humans but is highly infectious and often deadly for hogs. That includes bringing in search-dog teams, building fences, and deploying drones and helicopters with thermal-imaging technology to scour for boar.

Although ASF hasn’t hit any farms, key buyers including China and South Korea slapped import bans on German products, sending the nation’s wholesale pork prices to afour-year low. Pig prices have alsoslumped in several neighboring nations as the European Union grapples with the extra supply. Germany, whose key livestock region is located further west, can still trade within the bloc.

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