Serbia, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore and South Korea have placed a temporary ban on pork and pork products from Hungary following the discovery of African swine fever (ASF) in a wild boar in the north of the country, business daily Világgazdaság reported on Thursday.
Serbia has extended the ban to live hogs as well, the paper said, citing the website of national food safety agency Nebih.
All of the above-mentioned countries have banned all pork produced in all of Hungary, with the exception of Singapore, which has agreed to allow pork products from other regions if no new ASF cases develop.
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This ban could have serious economic consequences for Hungary’s meat industry, since a large percentage of its overall profits come from sales to Asia. Japan, in particular, is the industry’s largest market, and the source of fully ¼ of its income, with sales of 76.2 million euros. Likewise, Taiwan and South Korea are the industry’s sixth and twelfth largest markets, respectively.
As the blog Pig Progress notes, Hungary is the seventh EU country that has been detected in, following Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Romania and the Czech Republic. In addition, in Ukraine, Russia, and Georgia, the virus has existed in the wild boar population since 2007.
The swine fever outbreak was detected by Hungarian authorities in boars located on a hunting preserve located in Heves county. While the disease does not pose any danger to humans, it can cause huge economic and agricultural damage if it spreads widely among domesticated pigs.
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Because it can survive for months, or even years, in both living pigs and pork products, ASF is a disease that can quickly spread if it is not properly contained. For this reason, authorities have banned pork products from the affected region to be transported to other EU or third-party countries.
An official government press release notes that Hungarian pork and meat products remain safe to eat.
Today, two additional countries, Belarus and South Africa, have announced bans on the import of both Hungarian pork products and of live hogs. This brings the total number of countries that have instituted such a ban up to 7.
via vg.hu, MTI, index.hu, nationalhogfarmer.com, thepigsite.com, oie.int, and pigprogress.net
Image via agroinform.hu