Will a deadly pig virus change the fixation of Germany on ‘cheap meat’?


The stench of the wild boar carcass was what caught the walker’s attention.

All that was left of the calf, which was found in September on the edge of a cornfield in northeastern Brandenburg, which surrounds Berlin, were scraps of fur and a few bones.

Tests soon showed the animal had died of African swine fever (ASF). 20 kilometers from the last reported outbreak in neighboring Poland, it was found. There was no surprise,”This was not a surprise,” State authorities have erected miles of metal fencing, told farmers, deployed sniffer dogs, fitted hunters with night-vision equipment, paid for each carcass shot, and encouraged walkers to be cautious after the discovery of the first ASF case in Germany. The effects have been disastrous for many farmers. If an infected carcass is detected, no harvesting or hunting is allowed in a radiuu.

In Germany, the number of officially registered ASF cases has now risen to more than 300, and most of the crop had to be destroyed in order to prevent them from entering the food chain in the event of contamination.

So far, only in wild animals has the disease been detected, which is harmless to other animals but devastating to pigs. Farm pigs have not been affected so far.

It is suspected that African swine fever reached Europe in 2007, when it was discovered in meat at a landfill site in Georgia which had arrived from Africa by ship.

The disease has since spread from Georgia to Russia, from Russia to Ukraine, then to Bulgaria, Romania, Poland, Belgium, Korea, the Czech Republic, China and Papua New Guinea.

It shocked health officials and veterinary inspectors in Germany that the largest economy in Europe, along with the United States and Spain, one of the world’s largest pork exporters, had been spared for so long. The good old days: can we still farm like our grandparents? Read morePig farmers are now feeling the pinch of a blanket ban on German pork imports from China and other Asian countries.

In the first six months of 2020, more than a quarter of pork exports – worth EUR 2.4 billion (£ 2.1 billion) – went to China, twice as much as last year, according to the German Federal Statistical Office. The explanation for the huge increase was China’s own battle against ASF. Last year, the world’s largest producer and buyer of pork had to kill about 200 million pigs as the disease spread a disease

It wants China to be more selective and ban imports from the particular area where ASF was detected, rather than from the entire world. After hundreds of employees tested positive for Covid-19, the meat industry in general has already been in the spotlight after a number of plants around the country were temporarily shut down. Senger, the veterinarian who handled the first ASF carcass in Brandenb-19


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