The European Commission has today decided to suspend the movement of all pigs within and from the German federal state of North-Rhine Westphalia, due to a new case of classical swine fever in a pig farm in this region.
This is the fourth confirmed case of the disease in domestic pigs in North-Rhine Westphalia, despite the control measures put in place by the German authorities when the other 3 cases were detected in this area on the 3rd and the 5th of March. The protection, surveillance and buffer zones set up in this area following the outbreaks at the beginning of March will remain in place, and all pigs on the farm where this last outbreak occurred are being slaughtered and destroyed.
Classical swine fever is a very serious disease of pigs with an important economic impact on the pig industry. It can be spread easily and all necessary measures have to be taken to avoid this. As long as the epidemiological situation in the affected area has not stabilised, a standstill in a large zone is considered necessary to reduce the risk of further extension of the outbreak. This measure has proven to be effective in similar occasions in the past.
Under the Decision adopted by the Commission today, no pigs can be transported to or from holdings in North-Rhine Westphalia, nor can they be dispatched to other parts of Germany, other Member States or third countries. However, derogations on the movement ban are foreseen for pigs intended for direct slaughter.
Pigs for slaughter from outside North-Rhine Westphalia may be allowed to be transported through the area via major roads and railways, if the animals can be prevented from coming into contact with any pigs in the area. The German authorities may also authorise the transport of pigs for direct slaughter from North-Rhine Westphalia to a slaughterhouse situated in this area or, in exceptional cases, to a slaughterhouse in another German Land.
For pigs other than those intended for immediate slaughter, which are to be exported from any other part of Germany, certain control measures are applicable such as 30 days residency on the holding of origin and that no other live pigs were introduced during this time on the holding. The German authorities must notify the receiving Member State of any dispatch of pigs and provide the additional certification. Bio-security measures, such as the disinfection of vehicles used to transport pigs, must also be applied.
The Decision is valid for ten days and will be reviewed by the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health next Tuesday. In light of this review and the evolution of the disease situation, the Commission will adapt and prolong the measures for a further period of time.