The African swine fever now seems to have arrived in Lower Saxony. A laboratory has now confirmed the outbreak in a company in the Emsland district.

African swine fever (ASF) broke out in a pig farm in the Emsland district. The national reference laboratory, the Friedrich-Loeffler Institute (FLI), confirmed the findings of the State Office for Consumer Protection and Food Safety, as announced by the Ministry of Agriculture in Hanover on Saturday. According to the ministry, this is the first case of the animal disease in Lower Saxony.

“Unfortunately, it was only a matter of time before swine fever reached Lower Saxony. It’s a hard emotional blow for the pig farmers in our country,” said Minister Barbara Otte-Kinast (CDU). The farm in the municipality of Emsbüren keeps 280 sows and around 1500 piglets. The entire stock will be killed on Sunday.

The first case in Germany was confirmed on September 10, 2020, in a wild boar in Brandenburg. Since then, outbreaks have been found in Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Saxony. In mid-July last year, swine fever spread to domestic pigs in livestock for the first time in Germany – again in Brandenburg.

ASF is a contagious viral disease in domestic and wild pigs that is almost always fatal and incurable. There is no way to protect pigs with preventive vaccination. The disease can be transmitted directly from animal to animal or indirectly by humans to other areas via contaminated objects such as clothing, shoes and feed. ASF is not contagious or dangerous to humans or other animal species.