German ASF cases top 600 as zones expanded

More than 600 cases of African swine fever (ASF) have now been confirmed in Germany, as new cases result in the expansion of the protection zones.

There have been 615 cases in wild boar in total, with 596 confirmed in Brandenburg and 19 in neighbouring Saxony, although the domestic pig populations in Germany remains free from the virus.

The continuing spread of the virus, in some cases in new areas, has recently forced the authorities to expand two of the four core zones where the disease has been concentrated.

The Saxony restriction zone, which is close to the Polish border, was expanded after the virus was confirmed in a wild boar carcase in the buffer zone but outside the previous ‘endangered area’.

The Saxon State Ministry for Social Affairs and Social Cohesion (SMS) announced that the endangered area would be doubled in size, from 157 to 322sq.km

The previous endangered area in Saxony was already completely closed with a permanent fence except for a few kilometres. Saxony’s Minister of Social Affairs, Petra Köpping, said that it was now a matter of making the necessary fencing in the new areas, searching them for infected fallen game and starting the animal health removal, according to German pig industry body ISN.

One of the three core zones in Brandenburg has also been expanded, following the discovery of infected wild boar outside the perimeter of the initial core zones.

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Editor of LBM titles Pig World and Farm Business and group editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer. National Pig Association's webmaster. Previously political editor at Farmers Guardian for many years and also worked Farmers Weekly. Occasional farming media pundit. Brought up on a Leicestershire farm, now work from a shed in the garden in Oxfordshire. Big fan of Leicester City and Leicester Tigers. Occasional cricketer.