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Domestic pig infection feared after salmonella strain found in wild boars in Sweden

Christian Fernsby |
A potentially deadly strain of salmonella has been found in wild boars in Sweden. Though it poses no threat to humans as long as the meat is cooked properly, it could potentially devastate the country's pig industry, an expert said Sunday.

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Topics: SWEDEN   

Four decades after salmonella choleraesuis was eradicated in Sweden, it emerged again last summer at a pig farm in Skane province, southern Sweden.

Now, it poses a threat to piggeries hundreds of kilometers away. In December, the bacterium was found among wild boars in an enclosure in the Sodermanland province. All animals were culled, but extensive tests later revealed that it has spread to wild boars in the entire region.

There are also fears it may spread to domestic pigs. Sweden's pig farming industry last year produced 247,000 tonnes of pork, according to the Swedish Board of Agriculture.

If that happens, the effects could be devastating, Axel Sanno, a researcher in porcine herd health management at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, told Radio Sweden News.

"It did already happen once and it could likely happen again that the infection is introduced in the domestic pig herd, which could have a big impact on the food supply in the country."

The bacterium reportedly causes blood poisoning, often with deadly effects for the infected animals. The meat is, however, safe for human consumption as long as it has been properly cooked.

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