GERMANY has confirmed that it has case of African Swine Fever – but insisted that it is well prepared to contain the outbreak.

German Federal Agriculture Minister Julia Klöckner confirmed a case of ASF in a wild boar found near the Polish border, near the city of Brandenburg, a scenario that authorities have considered probable for some time now. Pig farmers in the region are reportedly 'prepared and trained' to avoid contamination reaching their barns.

The German ministry of Agriculture has activated a crisis management plan, with measures mostly addressing wildlife populations, integrating with a strong EU wide programme on wild boar population management.

Copa and Cogeca secretary-general Pekka Pesonen commented: “The identification of infected wild boars in Germany is of course a source of concern for the whole European pig meat sector. Nevertheless we should be reassured. Germany proved its capacity for rapid response and effective actions while the Brandenburg region has a low pig production.

"The recent and positive management by Belgian and Czech authorities of ASF shows that biosecurity measures taken by farmers and public authorities are efficient in the EU.”

The chair of Copa-Cogeca's Working Party on Pig meat, Antonio Tavares, called on the German pig sector's EU business partners to respond 'in a proportionate manner' to the announcement and keep their trust in the sector.

"At a difficult time for the European pig meat sector, it is essential that European and national authorities take efficient and quick measures to support the sector. The Commission's groundwork in raising awareness and promoting biosecurity measures should be highlighted.

"The scientific community is clear about ASF, the disease can only be transmitted to pigs and wild boars and does not affect humans," added Mr Tavares. "Therefore, we need to inform the citizens who might be in contact with these species that they can have an active role by taking basic measures that could prevent the spread of ASF. Other stakeholders, especially hunters, will have a key role to play in prevention and containing the disease."