A further five cases of African swine fever (ASF) are suspected in wild boar in the German state of Brandenburg, close to the border with Poland.
This follows the discovery of ASF for the first time in Germany in a dead wild boar in a field of harvested crops in the state last week.
The five news cases were found in dead wild boar close to the first case, Brandenburg state health minister Ursula Nonnemacher told a committee of the state’s parliament, Reuters reports. Initial tests were positive and tests are underway to confirm the additional cases at Germany’s Friedrich-Loeffler scientific institute, she told the meeting.
On its website, the Brandenburg Government said measures to combat ASF were ‘consistently implemented in the state of Brandenburg’.
“After all farmers and hunters have been informed of the situation and the core zone with a radius of at least three kilometers from where the infected wild boar carcass was found was completely fenced off with an electric fence on Saturday, the search for further dead wild boars is being carried out in a targeted manner. Outside of this, the hunting of wild boar is significantly intensified,” it said today.
Measures in place
Restriction zones have been put in place around the infected area, including a core zone encompassing a radius of about 3 kilometres around the infected site, secured with an electric fence and with entry and harvest bans.
A second zone, the ‘endangered area’ has been set up with a 15km radius, with a further 30km buffer zone around it.
Specific measures in the endangered area to reduce further spread include:
- A hunting ban for all animal species in order to prevent unnecessarily startling potentially infected wild boar
- An intensive game search by trained staff and with the participation of local hunters
- Rescue and safe disposal of all wild boar carcases under hygienic conditions, with collection points for fallen game and accident game set up on site
- A review of pig farms with regard to compliance with biosecurity measures
- Examination of provisional usage restrictions for agricultural and forestry areas (harvest ban for maize fields)
- Prohibition of events with pigs
- Identification of hunters who are also pig farmers
- Information and training for hunters
- Establishment of a core zone in the endangered area and its demarcation.
The discovery of ASF in Germany and subsequent loss of the country’s ASF-free status has resulted in a number of countries, including China, imposing import bans on German pork, with knock-on effects on the wider market.