GERMANY - African swine fever could cross the German border any day now, warned Professor Franz Conrath, of the Friedrich Loeffler Institute, at a conference in Germany to discuss risk measures.
He pointed to "human misbehaviour" as a major factor in the spread of the disease, according to the National Pig Association.
If the disease did hit Germany it would have much more serious consequences than currently being experienced in the Baltics, as Germany housed large wild boar populations, he warned.
Dr Friedrich Caspers, chief executive of a major German insurance company, said African swine fever was gradually creeping westward and all European Union member countries had a responsibility to help stamp it out.
Dr Ursula Gerdes, managing director of the Lower Saxony Animal Disease Board, appealed to all responsible parties to persuade pig farmers, vets and hunters to do their utmost to prevent an outbreak in Germany.
Norbert Meyer, another Animal Disease Board member, warned epidemics of all kinds could travel long distances through tourists and harvest workers so the livestock industry should prepare now, "because in times of crisis it is too late".
And Lithuanian Pig Producers director Algis Baravykas said the African swine fever virus had not been killing wild boar in Lithuania as fast as its namesake, classical swine fever. "For that reason, it might still be around for a long time in this country."
ThePigSite News Desk