SOFIA (Reuters) – Greece has banned imports of pork from its northern Balkan neighbor Bulgaria due to outbreaks of African swine fever, Bulgarian Agriculture Minister Desislava Taneva said on Friday.

European Union member Bulgaria has detected more than 20 outbreaks of African swine fever in pigs in industrial farms or backyards in the northern part of the Black Sea state, culling more than 50,000 pigs in July.

Taneva told lawmakers in parliament that checks at the Bulgarian-Greek border would be stepped up and on entering Greece, the luggage of all visitors would be checked for banned meat products.

African swine fever is a highly contagious disease that affects pigs and wild boar. It does not affect humans.

(Reporting by Angel Krasimirov; Editing by Mark Potter)