Germany is bracing for the arrival of African swine fever after an infected wild boar was found in Poland near the German border.
The deadly pig disease could wreak havoc on the nation’s 26 million hogs, and farmers are feeling nervous. “This is going to be a nightmare if it happens in regions with a significant livestock density,” said Bernhard Krüsken, secretary general of DBV, Germany’s largest farm lobby.
Berlin is mounting a last-ditch effort to keep the virus at bay, including a public awareness campaign and discussions of building fences on both sides of the border with Poland, where ASF has already spread. EU officials and academic experts have said it’s nearly inevitable that the disease will ultimately cross the border.
“We are ready, we are really well prepared,” said German farm chief Julia Klöckner. “Everybody knows what the consequences will be. It’s important to inform everybody, to inform tourists, inform the farmers.”
Unaffected EU nations have been cashing in as African swine fever spreads in China, creating massive Chinese demand for protein imports and pushing up global pork prices. European pork exports through October 2019 were up 28 percent over the previous year.