In Germany, the African swine fever (ASF) has spread to domestic pigs in livestock for the first time.

Laboratories have detected the virus in an organic farm in the Brandenburg district of Spree-Neisse with around 200 pigs and in a small holder with two animals in the district of Märkisch-Oderland in the same state.

This was announced by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture and the Brandenburg Ministry of Health and Consumer Protection on Friday night.

This means that the cases of domestic pigs are also in the districts near the Polish border that have already been affected by African swine fever in wild boars.

Protection zones and surveillance zones are now to be set up around the two companies.

All animals in the two herds would be killed and destroyed.

"It is now important that we quickly find the cause of the entry into the pig population so that we know which route the virus has taken," said Brandenburg State Minister Ursula Nonnemacher (Greens).

"The fact that the cases were apparently found quickly shows that the animal disease monitoring works."

The virus has also been rampant in Germany for almost a year, but so far only wild boars have been affected.

According to the ministry, almost 1270 cases were found in Brandenburg alone.

Swine fever is harmless to humans.

For pigs, however, the highly contagious virus is usually incurable and fatal.

So far there is no vaccination.

Farmers and livestock keepers have long feared that the disease would spread from wild animals to farm pigs.

The epidemic has spread to Germany via Eastern Europe.

Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Saxony have therefore built an ASP protective fence around 670 kilometers long to Poland and Eastern Europe. A second fence is being planned. Nonnemacher appealed to the farmers "to continue to strictly adhere to the strict biosecurity measures, especially in small farms, in order to prevent further outbreaks in domestic pig keeping".

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