African Swine Flu warning issued
A WARNING has been issued to farmers after African Swine Fever (ASF) was identified in Germany for the first time.
The Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine stated that ASF, a deadly disease of pigs and wild boars, was confirmed on September 10 in the eastern area of Spree-Neisse within a few kilometres of the Polish border.
The virus is highly fatal for pigs and wild boar, however, ASF does not affect humans and poses no food safety risk.
The Department confirmed that there has been no importation of live pigs from Germany into Ireland this year to date. It also said the infection was identified in a single wild boar and so far there have been no reports of the disease in domestic pigs in Germany
ASF first entered Poland in 2014 and has been spreading in the wild boar population in the western part of the country since November of last year. EU legislation controls the movement of pigs and pig products from areas affected by ASF in Poland.
Wild boar have played a role in the spread of the disease in mainland Europe through their natural movements and interactions. While Ireland does not have a sustainable wild boar population, the virus can also be spread through other ways including contact with infected live pigs, contaminated clothing, footwear, vehicles and equipment and the consumption of infected food waste by pigs.
The Department urged pig owners to ensure robust biosecurity measures are implemented on their farms, to prevent pigs from accessing food waste and to ensure that pigs do not come into contact with contaminated clothing, vehicles, footwear or equipment originating in ASF affected areas of the world.
The Department also reminded all travellers to avoid bringing back any pork or pork products from areas affected with ASF.