China Bans German Pork Imports Over Swine Fever Case
(Bloomberg) -- China has halted imports of pork from Germany and will destroy existing supplies on concern about a pig-killing disease.
Germany, which counts on China for almost two-thirds of its pork exports outside of the European Union, confirmed a case of African swine fever this week. That caused South Korea and Japan to suspend purchases, and Taiwan to begin inspecting the luggage of passengers from the European nation.
The ban, effective from Sept. 11, applied to both direct and indirect purchases of hog, boar and related products from Germany, according to a statement from China’s General Administration of Customs dated Friday. The nation will destroy or return all the German pork shipments that started after Sept. 11 and strengthen quarantine over deliveries that began before the date, the customs agency said.
China’s move deals a further blow to Europe’s largest economy, which has been struggling with the pandemic’s economic impact, and comes just days after the Asian nation said it would resume pork imports from some German meat works that were earlier affected by the coronavirus.
A spokesperson for the German agriculture ministry confirmed the ban, adding it was in discussions with China’s government about the next steps.
German sales to non-EU nations had already been halted over the previous days after veterinary certificates weren’t able to accurately state that the country was free from ASF. The case, confirmed on Thursday, was detected in the corpse of a wild boar in Brandenburg near the Polish border.
“It’s important now to quickly create alternative sales opportunities,” Torsten Staack, who leads the ISN interest group of pig farmers in Germany, said in a statement. He added that the ban doesn’t change the situation much given the previous halt to exports.
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