Germany: Construction of permanent fence to prevent spread of African swine fever begins in Brandenburg

Construction began on a permanent fence on the German-Polish border to prevent the spread of African swine fever in the Spree-Neisse district of Brandenburg on Thursday. On September 10, Germany confirmed its first case of the disease after a wild boar that had died of swine fever was found in the district. Since then the federal state began building a permanent structure to replace the provisional fence which was built in December 2019 along the river Niesse, on the border with Poland, to help prevent the spreading of the disease into Germany. Anna Heyer-Stuffer, the chairman of the county crisis department for animal disease control, said today while visiting the construction site, that there have been 32 cases of swine fever in wild boars as confirmed this morning. «At the end of the day the question of whether it has been brought into the country or not is for now irrelevant. We have the pandemic here and we have to fight against it,» she added. Fears of swine fever making it to Germany have been ongoing for months, after an outbreak of the disease was reported less than 150km (93 miles) from the border in neighbouring Poland. The virus is not known to cause disease in humans. Germany is Europe's top pork exporter but Japan, South Korea, and China have already responded to the swine fever outbreak with a ban on German pork imports, while coronavirus outbreaks at slaughterhouses have also hit the country's pork industry.

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