GERMANY, Berlin. The export stop for German pork to third countries is a concern for the industry. Berlin is now seeking talks with important buyer countries.
China, Japan and South Korea have imposed an import ban on German pork. The German Federal Ministry of Agriculture (BMEL) plans to intensify negotiations on a regionalization agreement. The concept would allow farms outside the region affected by African swine fever (ASF) to continue exporting. A BMEL spokeswoman said that contact has already been made with all three countries. Most veterinary certificates for the export of pork to third countries contain the requirement that Germany must be free of ASF. The aim is to achieve an adjustment of the certificates that takes into account a regionalization clause.
But the negotiations that Germany has been conducting for years with China, its most important customer, have not been crowned with success in the past. "China has a very, very tough stance on this," says a BMEL spokeswoman. No country within the European Union has succeeded in doing this so far. However, the BMEL knows the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) is on its side. The organization recommends differentiating between domestic and wild boar.
If third countries adhered to this recommendation, Germany would have the advantage of continuing to be considered an ASF-free zone, even after the ASF finding in a wild boar carcass last week, because the virus was detected in a wild boar carcass, but no domestic pig is affected. In the meantime the export business has been suspended. In a worst-case scenario, Germany would only be allowed to export pork to the Asian region again after a year in which no new case of ASF has occurred in a wild boar carcass.