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German government considers giving aid to farmers after ASF disrupts markets

The German government is considering aid to farmers after pork prices fell due to the discovery of African swine fever in Germany’s wild boar population.

28 September 2020, at 9:36am

Reuters reports that Agriculture minister Julia Kloeckner is considering the move. In an online press conference on 25 September, she discussed potentially subsidising unsold pork or providing direct financial support for farmers.

Aid for subsidised storage would need approval from the European Union, Kloeckner said.

China and a series of other pork buyers banned imports of German pork in September after the first ASF case was confirmed in Germany.

The disease is not dangerous to humans but is fatal to pigs and a massive outbreak in China has led to hundreds of millions of pigs being culled.

A total 32 cases of ASF were confirmed in Germany since the first one on 10 September, all in wild animals with no farm pigs affected. All have been found in Germany’s eastern state of Brandenburg.

German pig prices slumped after the initial discovery but remained stable from 21 to 25 September on hopes of increased exports to the EU as other European exporters raised sales to China and elsewhere in Asia to fill the sudden gap left by the German import bans.

A series of permanent fences are to be built along Germany’s border with Poland by regional state governments with the EU set to give financial aid, Kloeckner said.

But was not possible to build fences without gaps because of roads and built up areas along the border.

It is Germany’s goal to prevent ASF spreading to other areas and get the country ASF-free again, she said. Efforts are being made to contain the disease, with intensified hunting of wild boar and testing of all dead boars.

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