African swine fever has been detected in several wild boars in western Poland. Now there is also a suspicion in Brandenburg. Thursday there must be clarity.
There is an official suspicion of African swine fever in Brandenburg. The federal Ministry of Agriculture announced this on Wednesday evening. A wild boar carcass was found a few kilometers from the German-Polish border in the Spree-Neisse district.
A sample of the dead animal is now being examined virologically at the Friedrich Loeffler Institute. According to information from dpa, the carcass has undergone several positive tests. Federal Minister Julia Klöckner (CDU) will inform about the results on Thursday. The viruses are harmless to humans, but are usually deadly to feral pigs and pigs.
The spokesman for the Brandenburg Ministry of Consumer Protection, Gabriel Hesse, told the dpa news agency: “Today we have found an official suspected case of African swine fever.” Only when the national reference laboratory also confirms the suspicion will there be an outbreak. The state crisis center and the municipal crisis centers are activated. The first protective measures are in preparation. The spokesperson pointed out that there have been several large-scale exercises to tackle animal diseases in recent years.
A permanent protective fence in the Spree-Neisse district on the border with Poland was planned, but has not yet been built. There is already a construction fence.
An outbreak would affect pig farmers
The outbreak of swine fever could have enormous economic consequences for pig farmers: according to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, exports to non-EU countries, especially to Asia, could be largely stopped. Until now, for exports to China, for example, it was necessary to certify that Germany is ASP-free. However, intra-EU trade can be maintained. There are only restrictions for businesses located near the site.
According to the state farmers’ association, about 750,000 pigs were kept on about 170 farms in Brandenburg in November 2019. Piglets are mainly exported from Brandenburg to other federal states and EU countries.
African swine fever (ASF) had somewhat withdrawn from Germany several months after an outbreak in western Poland, according to the federal government in August. While the westernmost location of a wild boar that died of swine fever in Poland in March was a little more than ten kilometers from the German border, the center of gravity of the infection was farther east again in August, according to the federal agriculture ministry.
Increased vigilance after business in Poland
Due to the borderline cases in the two districts of Oder-Spree and Spree-Neisse, as well as in the city of Frankfurt (Oder), Brandenburg had installed a 120 kilometer mobile electric safety fence. It was to provide protection against migrating wild boars on the border with Poland.
The Brandenburg State Farmers’ Union and the German Hunting Association had called for more vigilance after the cases in Poland. Farmers took strict security measures.