No pork from Russia or Ukraine

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Import warning due to African swine fever in Russia and Ukraine

Warning of pork from Ukraine and Russia. Due to the spread of African swine fever (ASP), no pork products should currently be imported from Russia and Ukraine, according to the latest communication from the Minister for Agriculture, Environment and Consumer Protection in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Dr. Till Backhaus (SPD).

The Ministry of Agriculture of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, according to the ministry, sees “the plague advancing to the west with great concern.” Since 2007, ASP has spread “from Africa to Armenia, Georgia and Russia”. Then "the ASP spread unchecked within Russia and from there to the west," according to the current report. Holidaymakers presumably introduced the pathogens from Russia to Ukraine, where the virus was found in a small number of domestic pigs in Komyshuvatka at the end of last month, about 170 km from the Russian border. Previously, Ukraine was always free from African swine fever. Backhaus is concerned that the animal disease in travelers' luggage could also reach Germany.

The Minister of Agriculture of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania therefore urged possible transmission of African swine fever via food waste to travelers in Europe not to bring any pork products from Russia or Ukraine. Salami or sausages in luggage are therefore taboo. The Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection also warned against the import of pork products from Russia or Ukraine. Although the "import of live pigs and pork products from the affected countries into the EU" is prohibited anyway, the pathogens could also be introduced by holidaymakers "via foods such as pork, raw sausages or salami," according to the Federal Ministry of Consumer Protection in Berlin. If meat products are imported into Germany that are contaminated, they could "get into domestic and wild boar as food waste," explained the ministry. In Russia, contaminated shipping waste that was stored near the port is considered to be the cause of the spread of ASP.

Catastrophic consequences of the spread of African swine fever in Germany Only by consistently refraining from importing potentially polluted pork products, "can we protect our pig population from the devastating animal disease and the inevitable negative effects on trade", emphasized Dr. Till bakery. According to the minister, the pathogens are threatening "catastrophic consequences" because "unlike the classic swine fever that hit our country in the 1990s, no vaccine is available to combat this plague". While African swine fever is harmless to humans, "it can have serious effects on pigs, as has already been shown in the Russian Federation," the Federal Ministry of Consumer Protection said. The ASP virus can currently only be combated efficiently by killing and harmless removal of the pigs.

Measures against African swine fever In order to prevent African swine fever from being introduced into the European Union, numerous measures have already been taken at national and EU level. For example, there are increased controls at the EU's external borders and the contingency plans to combat animal diseases have been adjusted, reports the Federal Ministry of Consumer Protection. However, individual regions in the EU have also been struggling with the ASP for decades. In Italy, those responsible have been trying unsuccessfully to repay the ASP in Sardinia for 30 years and only recently the entire island was excluded from the trade in pigs and pork. (fp)

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