The death toll of African Swine Fever (ASF) amongst wild boar in the border zone between Poland and Germany has exceeded the 4,000 mark.
That becomes clear from an analysis of the latest data from authorities in both countries. In Germany, where reports were made public until February 5, the total count is now 685. In recent weeks, roughly 40-50 new infected wild boar were found per week.
Western Poland: Majority of ASF cases in Lubusz
On the other side of the border, in the cluster in Western Poland, the total number of victims by the morning of February 15 was 3,342. The vast majority of these were found in the border province Lubusz (2,780 wild boar – 83% of the total in Western Poland).
The disease pressure near the Polish border town Leknica is remarkable. Leknica is adjacent to the southernmost of the 4 German core zones, in Saxony province. New cases were reported last week, on at least 10 locations around the town.
Reports of new finds in January 2021 in Western Poland are still coming in, so far the count for January alone is at 388 positive wild boar carcasses. December 2020 was the worst month in Western Poland so far with 504 wild boar victims.
More ASF measures needed in Berlin
If one thing continues to be clear, it is that the disease pressure in Poland continues to be impressive, forming a continuous threat to Germany’s pig industry. Julia Klöckner (pictured), the German federal minister of agriculture, has therefore urged the capital Berlin – geographically relatively close to the ASF-infected areas, to also take action, involve its inhabitants and reduce risks for ASF infections.
Germany’s leading agricultural title Top Agrar reported about her writing a letter to Berlin’s mayor about the preventive measures against ASF. Meanwhile, she called on the Berlin senate to become more involved in educating the population. She called it “alarming signs” when groups of 30 to 40 wild boar roam through residential areas and have to be escorted by police.
Relying solely on protection fences in Brandenburg and Saxony is not enough, she said. 1 jump entry or 1 human error by incorrectly disposing food can bring ASF to previously free areas. Education, she said, would be essential. In addition, she asked the mayor to examine the extent to which further measures for wild boar hunting in urban Berlin can be taken.