‘Highly infectious’ African swine fever outbreak found in wild boars in Germany

Bacon-lovers face massive price hikes as an outbreak of incurable " pig plague" has emerged in Germany with three more cases confirmed today.

The new discoveries of African Swine Fever (ASF) brings the country's total to 49 since September 10.

Experts are racing to keep up with the highly contagious disease with search teams out looking for dead swine in the region.

China has already banned German pork imports – sending its pork prices soaring after the first cases in Germany emerged.

They have only been in wild boars so far but there are fears the highly contagious could soon infect farm pigs.

Germany's federal agriculture ministry website said the outbreak has been contained to a 20-mile radius in the east German state of Brandenburg.

The latest cases were found in the same area of the first discoveries, the ministry added on its website.

A case was found on Wednesday in a new area about 60 kilometres (37mi) away from the first.

Germany's Friedrich-Loeffler scientific institute had confirmed the latest animals had ASF, the ministry said.

The ministry has previously warned that more cases in wild boar have to be expected as the disease is highly infectious.

This is not the first time AFS has threatened to cripple pork markets across Europe.

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British pork farmers face bans on exporting their meat if the disease gets here via illegal imports.

An average of 27 per cent of each pig is shipped overseas and it could also see British families hit by a huge hike in the price of pork products.

ASF is largely carried by wild boar who can infect domestic or commercial pigs.

It has also spread due to the illegal importation of infected meat products into EU members Poland the Baltic states Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.

There are fears infected pig corpses may have been illegally buried and even frozen for later use.

Although not harmful to humans, Germany is now bracing itself for an outbreak of the virus.

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