African swine fever (ASP) has spread in recent months in Eastern Europe: In Poland, the Czech Republic, Romania Romania and the three Baltic States since the beginning of the year wild and domestic pigs have died of the disease. Two cases have now been discovered in Belgium. The neighboring countries Belgium and France are alarmed.
"I take the new situation very seriously," said Julia Klöckner, Federal Minister of Food and Agriculture (BMEL). Her French counterpart Stéphane Travert called for an action plan for the border regions with Belgium.
The ASP is an infection that originated in Africa. The virus transmits via direct contact, but can also be transmitted via contaminated meat products. For humans, the virus is not dangerous, but "it is all people, the spread of a disease propagation," said the BMEL. For example, they would inadvertently dispose of leftovers from ASP-contaminated pork. This could infect boars.
Klöckner: "Preparations for crisis case run"
This is also the case in Belgium: According to BMEL, two wild boars have been found dead about 60 kilometers away from the German border. They were infected with ASP. There was no case in Germany yet. "Our preparations for the crisis run," said Klöckner.
The ministry called on pig farmers to strictly comply with hygiene regulations. Hunters were asked to report dead wild boars to their respective competent authorities. Denmark had already announced that it would build a border fence with Germany to prevent contaminated wild boars from entering the country. Farmers in Germany fear billions in damages in the event of an outbreak.