German ASF cases top 600 as protection zones expanded
3rd Feb 2021 / By Alistair Driver
More than 600 cases of African swine fever (ASF) have now been confirmed in Germany, as new cases result in the expansion of the protection zones.
There have now been 596 confirmed ASF cases in wild boar in Brandenburg and 19 in neighbouring Saxony. The domestic pig populations in Germany remains free from the virus.
The continuing spread of the virus, in some cases in new areas, has recently forced the authorities to expand two of the four core zones where the disease has been concentrated.
The Saxony restriction zone, which is close to the Polish border, was expanded after the virus was confirmed in a wild boar carcase in the buffer zone but outside the previous 'endangered area'.
The Saxon State Ministry for Social Affairs and Social Cohesion (SMS) announced that the endangered area would be doubled in size, from 157 to 322sq.km
The previous endangered area in Saxony was already completely closed with a permanent fence except for a few kilometres. Saxony's Minister of Social Affairs, Petra Köpping, said that it was now a matter of making the necessary fencing in the new areas, searching them for infected fallen game and starting the animal health removal, according to German pig industry body ISN.
One of the three core zones in Brandenburg has also been expanded, following the discovery of 13 wild boar that had been found infected just outside the perimeter of the initial core zones.. According to Pig Progress, the zone has been expanded by more than 100km more north in Märkisch-Oderland district.
The core zones form a key part of Germany's ASF eradication strategy of Germany. After the core zones have been fenced off, the next step is the creation of ‘white zones’ around the core zones. These are denced corridors in which all wild boar present will be shot, to make sure that these animals cannot form a reservoir for the virus to escape from the inner core zone, Pig Progress reports.
Meanwhile, in Western Poland alone, the total number of cases topped 3,000 during January.
You can read more in Pig Progress here, including a map of cases in Poland and Germany.