African Swine Fever confirmed close to German border
Polish authorities have confirmed the presence of African Swine Fever (ASF) 70km from the border of Germany.
According to the National Pig Association, the State Veterinary Institute in Pulaway confirmed two cases in the Lubuskie province. Dead boar have also been found in the surrounding area, prompting fears that more cases are likely to be confirmed.
The International Society for Infectious Diseases (ProMED) said the discovery presents a concerning 300km leap westwards of ASF and is an ‘immediate threat’ to Germany, which is a leading producer of pork in the EU.
Authorities have fenced off the contaminated area - which spans around 36km - and intensive searches of the region are now underway to analyse the disease situation and work out the location of a second fence.
Hundreds of people have been involved in the search of the contamination zone, including hunters, firefighters, foresters and farmers. On the first day of checks, the searchers discovered nine dead boar, and on Sunday (November 17) a further 11 were found. Results of the laboratory analysis of the dead animals are expected shortly.
"We very much hope that the event remains limited to the two established 10 km radius circuits. For now, there are no reports of dead boar outside the threatened area,” said Stanislaw Mysliwiec, president of the Lubuska Chamber of Agriculture.
ProMED added: "The discovery of a second infected boars in western Poland, some 70 km from the German border, is alarming news for both countries, presenting a striking, 300 km leap of ASF westwards, putting Poland's voluminous pork exports at risk while presenting a serious, immediate threat of its introduction into hitherto ASF-free Germany."