ASF Germany: Number of cases in wild boar tops 300

The number of cases of African Swine Fever in wild boar in Germany exceeded the 300 mark mid-December. The total at December 16 is now at 302 cases.

The cases have been found in Eastern Germany in 4 separated and demarcated zones along the border with Poland. 3 of these zones are in Brandenburg state, the southern one is in Saxony state. The cases are found in 4 districts.

As can be seen in Table 1, most recently reported cases occurred in the districts Märkisch-Oderland (northern zone) and Oder-Spree (middle zones).

The ASF situation in Germany has come on top of Covid-19-related problems. Because of Covid-19, certain slaughterhouses had to close temporarily, causing a ‘Schweinestau’ (pig traffic jam). That market situation has been aggravated by the fact that pig meat cannot be shipped to countries outside the European Union due to ASF in wild boar, making it increasingly difficult to successfully market the carcasses. It is estimated that the traffic jam roughly consists of 1 million finisher pigs.

The chances of finding ASF-infected wild boar grows as the months get colder. - Photo: Petr Satran, Czech State Veterinary Administration
The chances of finding ASF-infected wild boar grows as the months get colder. - Photo: Petr Satran, Czech State Veterinary Administration

ASF situation in Western Poland

The ASF situation in wild boar on the other side of the border is not rosy either. As has been common in previous years, the number wild boar carcasses testing positive for ASF is growing in the colder winter months. Data from the Polish General Veterinary Inspectorate (GVI) show that in Western Poland, the number of cases grew strongly from October (112) to November (291). The numbers for December have just started trickling in.

Figure 1 shows the total picture for the border area between Western Poland and Eastern Germany, based on data available on December 16, 2020. Currently, some first finds from Germany have been reported sooner than those from Poland, which is why the number of reports from Germany is now higher than from Poland. Given the disease pressure on the Polish side, it is likely that the Polish number will grow later.

Where is ASF found in Western Poland?

The vast majority of cases in Western Poland occurred in Lubusz province, where almost 2,000 infected wild boar have been found since November 2019. The province includes a large stretch of border area of more than 100 km north to south. The Lubusz ASF cases together constitute 80% of all the positive wild boar found in Western Poland.

Initial cases in the beginning concentrated around the village Konotop, but it appears that most ‘fresh’ cases are now to be found more to the west, north and south of Zielona Gora city.

In the whole of Poland, ASF has been around since 2014 and since, it spread to most provinces in the East of the country. GVI data show that only in 2020, in the whole of Poland wild boar have been found on 3,931 locations. Less than one-third (1,127 finding sites) was located in the cluster in Western Poland so far. The number of finding sites is not identical to the number of infected wild boar found. Sometimes, on one location more than one animal is found.

In 2020, a total of 103 pig farms was found infected in Poland, from large to small-size. Of these 12 pig farms were located in Western Poland.