Page 14 - Australian Pork Newspaper
P. 14

Germany establishes emergency measures as swine fever draws closer
THE German state
of Brandenburg has
erected about 120km
of electric fencing to
prevent wild boars in- It could also have
fected with African swine fever from stray- ing across the border from Poland and in- fecting its pig herd.
Hans-Christian Dan- iels doesn’t think the barrier will work.
“It looks rather inevi- table that swine fever will come,” Daniels said, whose farm near Tauche, close to the Pol- ish border, has 11,000 pigs.
“This could cause a dramatic fall in prices.” ASF, which has led to
the deaths of a quar- ter of the world’s pigs in China and roiled the global meat industry, is dangerously close to Germany, Europe’s larg- est pork producer.
A case of the viral dis- ease was discovered in a wild boar in Poland just 12km from the German border last month.
A confirmed case in Germany could prompt an import ban, ending the boom times for local pig farmers, who have seen exports to China,
knock-on effects in the Netherlands and Den- mark, where the main suppliers of piglets for Germany are based.
Farmers such as Dan- iels have taken strict steps to ward off the disease but the biggest risk factor is from wild boars that roam the fields and forests along the German-Polish bor- der feeding on nuts and acorns.
They have already facilitated the infec- tion of about 10 coun- tries in eastern Europe, with Poland recording 55 outbreaks of ASF in wild boars in December alone.
Anja Semmele of the Brandenburg Hunting Association said, “We do not know exactly how many wild boar we have in Brandenburg, but their numbers have been increasing in re- cent years.”
“Our region is some- thing of a paradise for wild boar, with a mix of forests and farming.
NFF welcomes additional drought relief measures
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the world’s biggest con- sumer of pork, jump due to outbreaks of ASF in Asia.
“They run very quick- ly and hunters need a good level of marks- manship to hit and kill the animal humanely.” Potentially large losses
ASF has been spread- ing across eastern Eu- rope but is doing the greatest damage in Asia and has devastated pig farms in China in the past year, reshaping global meat trade and raising prices.
China’s pork output has slumped to a 16-year low as herds were culled to stamp out the disease, leading to a surge in im- ports of pork, beef and chicken to fill the gap.
Germany’s pork ex- ports to China rose 43 percent year-on-year in the first seven months of 2019 and it was Ger- many’s single-biggest foreign market.
Asian countries, in- cluding China, regularly impose import bans on pork from regions where ASF has been discovered and Ger- man pig farmers could face huge losses from both the drop in exports and costs arising from methods to combat the disease if it is found in
Germany, said farmers’ association DBV.
DBV Secretary Gen- eral Bernhard Kruesken said: “It is difficult to estimate how high the damage will be for Ger- man pig farmers, but we estimate at least a triple- digit million euro sum.”
Any export ban on German pork would also have knock-on ef- fects for other European countries.
Thomas Sanchez, a policy advisor with re- sponsibility for pigmeat at EU farmers’ group Copa Cogeca said the main suppliers of piglets for Germany in the EU are Denmark and the Netherlands.
“That means there will be effects in the Dutch and Danish markets quite immediately.”
To help deal with the threat of ASF, German and Polish agriculture ministries are consider- ing creating a fenced corridor on both sides of their border and a ‘drastic’ reduction in wild boar numbers by relaxing rules on shoot- ing them.
The Brandenburg fence was built in De- cember and is designed to be temporary.
Another fence is being built in the border state of Saxony.
Gabriel Hesse of Brandenburg’s state health and consumer protection ministry said, “We have found no signs that the fence has been broken through by wild boars and no sick boars have been found along the fence.”
“There are hopes that the fence is effective, but these animals are remarkably strong.”
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Page 14 – Australian Pork Newspaper, February 2020
NATIONAL Farmers’ Federation president Fio- na Simson recently took part in the first meeting of the Federal Govern- ment’s National Drought and North Queensland Flood Response and Recovery Agency Advi- sory Board, led by Shane Stone, in Orange, NSW.
The meeting coincided with an announcement of further support for local governments and schools by Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Drought Minister David Little- proud.
Ms Simson said the NFF’s representation as a member on the Advi- sory Board was focused on ensuring the ongoing needs of both farmers and communities managing drought were met, and to ensure Australia was bet- ter prepared for the next drought.
“The worst drought con- ditions in 100 years con- tinue to impact vast areas of Australia,” Ms Simson said.
“Recent rainfall was welcomed and has pro- vided relief in some areas, but this moisture will rap- idly disappear as we head into more record tempera- tures with no follow-up rain on the horizon.
“We need regular and significant rainfall before this drought looks any- thing like being over.
“Even when the rains do come, the recovery period will extend over years for many farming busi- nesses.”
The Government re- cently expanded the Drought Communities Programme, providing 52 additional councils with up to $1 million.
“We know the hardship of drought extends way beyond the farmgate,” Ms Simson said.
“Money for local gov- ernments to invest in pro- jects and programs that individual councils deem appropriate has the po- tential to create jobs and provide a morale boost for communities.”
The NFF also wel- comed the Government’s announcement of an ad- ditional $10 million for non-government schools to help keep kids impact- ed by drought, in school.
“Continuity of access to education and social op- portunities is important for regional and remote students,” Ms Simson said.
“Many children in our drought-affected rural areas attend school away from home because of the tyranny of distance.
“This imposes a con- siderable cost on a farm- ing family’s dwindling budget.
“It’s our strong hope this money for non-gov- ernment schools will be
directed to school fee re- lief to ensure children’s all-important education is not disrupted.”
Ms Simson said the NFF continued to call for direct support measures for farm- ers managing drought.
“The enduring impact of this drought on the land- scape and on farmers’ fi- nancial positions cannot be overstated,” she said.
“Recently, with an audi- ence of the Prime Minis- ter, Minister Littleproud and Mr Stone, I urged the Government to continue its focus on supporting ru- ral Australia through this drought.
“The priority is to ad- dress the immediate cash flow needs of farmers, to keep people employed on farm and in our towns and to develop a plan for recovery.
“The NFF continues to advocate for local govern- ment rate relief and help with payroll expenses for farming businesses to keep people in jobs for when the rain does come.
“The NFF notes some states have provided pay- roll tax, stamp duty and water rates relief to fire- affected residents.
“These types of meas- ures are immediate and material.
“They help reduce the stress of seemingly never- ending bills when there’s no income to cover them.”

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