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Waldenberger: “Swine fever would be a disaster” –

Waldenberger: “Swine fever would be a disaster” –

It has been detected in 24 European countries in the past few weeks. In Italy, Croatia, the Czech Republic and most recently in the German state of Hesse, wild boars or pigs raised on farms have died from African swine fever. The viral disease is fatal to pigs but harmless to humans.

Precautions against introduction

But holidaymakers can unwittingly transmit the disease, says Chamber of Agriculture President Franz Waldenberger: “Please do not take any meat products, such as raw pork, bacon and the like, from your holiday destination to Upper Austria.” These products can carry the virus. If you do take meat products with you, you should never dispose of them in the wild, says Waldenberger.


Some cases are 100 km from the Austrian border.

“If you go for a walk in an infected area, you have to pay attention to your clothes and shoes. The virus can be transmitted to us through the ground,” said Waldenberger. These precautions are important to continue protecting Austria from African swine fever. There are already cases in several neighbouring countries. Some cases are only 100 kilometres away.

“African swine fever (ASF) has reached Europe and is unfortunately now getting closer and closer to Austria. This poses a huge risk to our local agriculture, but also to our hunting and veterinary systems. We have therefore focused on prevention and raising awareness early on. In addition to the ASF information brochure with checklists for pig farming companies, we also have an ASF dog unit with the population of Upper Austria. The State Hunting Association has been set up,” said Regional Councillor for Agriculture Michaela Langer-Fenninger (ÖVP).

A case of swine fever means killing all pigs on the farm.

If a pig on a local farm becomes infected, all pigs on the farm will be killed and disposed of without harm. Further measures will follow, including the establishment of protected areas several kilometres around the farm. Operations in these areas will be investigated.

Wild boar plague in Eisenstadt


Wild pigs are often affected.

An outbreak of animal disease would be a disaster for local agriculture. “On the one hand, there is the economic damage to the affected farm, but it also has an impact on international trade relations,” said the head of the Chamber of Agriculture.

Pork exports will be threatened.

“The question is where Austria will then be allowed to export pork,” Waldenberger explained in an interview with ORF Upper Austria. This will not only affect farms that do not have any cases of African swine fever on their farms.

The damage could run into several million euros. This is already being seen in Italy. Canada recently halted imports of Parma ham due to concerns about African swine fever, which has been spreading in Italy. In Italy, a million wild boars are due to be killed in the next few years to contain the animal disease.

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