African Swine Fever

General information about African Swine Fever

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African Swine Fever

The first confirmed case of African Swine Fever (ASF) in Germany was detected in Brandenburg in mid-September. The Federal Research Institute for Animal Health, the Friedrich-Loeffler Institute (FLI), verified the presence of the virus in the cadaver of a wild boar. As a result, Germany is no longer considered to be disease-free. Export nations such as China and South Korea have consequently placed an initial ban on the import of pig meat from Germany.

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ASF from the perspective of a veterinarian

 

What is ASF?

African Swine Fever (ASF) is a virus infection that affects domestic and wild pigs. The virus infection is only present in animals, in other words, it cannot be transmitted to humans.

An animal infected with the virus will almost always die. Transmission takes place through direct contact with infected animals (secretions, blood, sperm), ingestion of food waste or pig meat products/preparations and through other indirect transmission methods. Following infection, the animals develop very serious but general, non-specific symptoms. African Swine Fever must be reported to the authorities.

ASf and humans

There is no risk to human health from ASF. This virus infection is an animal disease. It cannot be passed to humans, neither through the consumption of meat nor through direct contact.

Everyone can help to stop ASF spreading: with regard to food, particularly meat and sausage products, simply ensure that they are disposed of in sealed refuse bins only.

Measures against the spread of ASF

With the introduction of ASF to Germany, agriculture plays a crucial role in compliance with strict hygiene guidelines in pig farming. Together with the farmers, Tönnies tries to further prevent the introduction of the virus from the wild boar into domestic pig populations. Tönnies is in constant contact with the veterinary authorities at local, state, federal and European level. All meat, produced at Tönnies, is safe.

Implications for the pig meat market

The high quality of German meat cuts means that they are in demand around the world. The export of cuts of meat that are no longer consumed in Germany is one of the reasons behind the favourable consumer prices. However, the export of these cuts of meat has now stopped. Because it is no longer possible to sell all cuts of meat in the most economical and sustainable way, higher profits must be achieved through the cuts of meat sold in Europe. This may lead to higher consumer prices for pork.