SARS-CoV-2 is not the only virus wreaking havoc in Europe, there’s also African Swine Fever, a disease transmitted from wild boar to farmed pigs. Western Poland is currently on the front line, and Germans are worried.
By Jo Harper | 30 April 2020
DEUTSCHE WELLE — Some 450 pig farms in the western Polish province of Wielkopolska — located near a farm where African Swine Fever (ASF) was recently found — have been placed in lockdown. Meanwhile, German authorities across the border are increasingly concerned after a sick wild boar was found 10 kilometers (6 miles) from the Polish border having swum what appears to be a significant distance.
Wild boars carry the disease — a highly contagious virus which is fatal to pigs — and it often enters the farm pig population via blood carried by boar hunters.
Some fear a repeat in Germany of what happened in China. One of the largest outbreaks of the ASF virus began sweeping through China’s pig farms in August 2018, wiping out 40% of the country’s pig population. “That’s roughly 300 million to 350 million pigs lost in China, which is almost a quarter of the world’s pork supply,” Christine McCracken, a senior analyst at RaboResearch, told NPR. “It’s a massive number.”
As the world’s main importer and producer of pork, the result was rising inflation. As pork prices rose over 110% in China, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) went up 4.5% in December. Although pork prices make up a considerably smaller part of the German inflation basket, the impact could nonetheless add to the existing economic problems caused by COVID-19. […]