African Swine Fever virus (ASFv) has made its entrance in a second state in Germany: Saxony. This state borders Brandenburg in the south. In this state, all other cases have been found so far.
The female wild boar was shot during a hunting session and according to the German Ministry of Agriculture (BMEL), she did not show any clinical symptoms of ASF. This took place on Tuesday, October 27, close to Oberlausitz, in the north of Görlitz district, close to the Polish border. A wild boar piglet shot at the same time, tested negative for ASF.
Instalment of new ASF core zone
As the crow flies, the finding place is about 60 km south of the southernost infected zone along the border with Poland. It will lead to the instalment of a new core zone. The news broke 1 day after the report of the finding of a case of ASF west of the southern core zone; that zone will also have to be expanded. That animal was found near Friedland/Klein-Briesen.
As a consequence of the discovery, Saxony state is on high alert to prevent further spread. The German agricultural ministry keeps close contact with the Saxony state ministry for Social Affairs and Consumer Protection (SMS).
A healthy wild boar notices a photographer and is about to run off. - Photo: Jan Vullings
Boar crossed the Neisse river
Most likely the animal must have crossed the border river Neisse to get into Germany. On the Polish side, at the level of the finding place, there were ASF-positive carcasses found in January and March. 1 of them was just over 10 km away from the German border. Very recently, new cases have been reported from there. At the moment, the construction of a permanent fence along the border is in progress. According to SMS, as of the beginning of this year, an electric wildlife deterring barrier of 75 cm high with odour components is in place.
In addition, in Brandenburg state, now 123 carcasses have been tested positive for ASF in Germany. The majority of them in the southern core zone, consisting of Oder-Spree district (102 cases) and Spree-Neisse (14). In the northern core zone, including a part of Märkisch-Oderland district, up until now 7 animals were tested positive. Together with one case in Saxony state, that brings the total to 124, a number that is also communicated by the German Hunters Union (DJV).
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Poland: fighting ASF since 2014
Poland has been fighting ASF since 2014. Until last year the virus remained restricted to eastern Poland, but in November last year the virus also popped up in western Poland. It took until September of this year before the virus had crossed the German border. In Germany, no farms have been infected; in Poland that happened on 103 farms in 2020 alone. In total, since 2014, 340 Polish farms were found positive; that included many backyard farms with only a few pigs to a number of larger commercial farms as well.