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ASF Germany: Free-range farm depopulated; case in Frankfurt/Oder

African Swine Fever (ASF) will indirectly lead to the depopulation of an organic swine farm in Germany. The farm with outdoor animals is located too close to current finds and all animals need to be culled.

It is one of the first German farms reported about that will have to cull pigs due to ASF. In a feature by the local news channel RBB, swine producer Michael Staar explains that his farm with a special breed of pigs will have to be depopulated before March 12, because the location is exactly adjacent to a high risk zone for ASF, which has been found in wild boar in various areas next to the border with Poland. The German veterinary authorities aim to avoid the risk of infection, as birds could drop infected pieces of carcass into the area.

The German Saddleback pig - picture not related to the farm that is told to depopulate. - Photo: Lotse | Wikipedia
The German Saddleback pig - picture not related to the farm that is told to depopulate. - Photo: Lotse | Wikipedia

At the farm Gut Hirschaue, near Beeskow, Brandenburg state, Staar keeps German Saddleback pigs and about 7 people are dependent on the pigs for their living. The report explains how free range pig keeping would be an incalculable risk for conventional swine farming, threatening exports.

A court case has been filed against the federal decision.

ASF case in Frankfurt an der Oder district

In addition, a new district reported a positive case of ASF: the 1st case was found in the Frankfurt an der Oder district, which is a border town adjacent to the Polish border. In this region of Brandenburg state, however, a permanent fence has been erected parallel to the Oder border river. The animal was found between the shore and the fence.

Ursula Nonnemacher, Brandenburg state minister for consumer protection, said, “First of all, I’m glad that the protective fence is obviously working, because the animal was found in front of the fence on the Oder river side. But the new find also shows how strong the epidemic pressure from Poland continues to be. The primary goal is to determine whether the epidemic is limited to the region east of the wild boar barrier.”

According to the press release, the city has installed a crisis team, which will intensify the search with dogs. The total amount of infected wild boar in Germany is now 776, 719 in Brandenburg state and another 57 in Saxony state.