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German ASF update - more cases confirmed as intensive search continues

28th Sep 2020 / By Alistair Driver

The number of confirmed cases of African swine fever (ASF) in Germany's Brandenburg region has risen to 35 as the intensice search continues.

wild boar 5The Friedrich Loeffler Institute (FLI) announced the virus had been found n three more wild boar at the weekend, one in the core area set up around the initial outbreaks and two in the wider 'endangered' area.

Previously, the infected wild boar had been found in two hotspot areas - Spree-Neisse, where the original case confirmed on September 10 was found, and near the town of Neuzelle in the OderSpree, about 7.5 km away.

No cases have been recorded in domestic pigs.

The Brandenburg region is throwing everything into to finding and testing dead animals in the locality. Helicopters with thermal imaging cameras and drones are being deployed alongside trained search teams and dog teams, with hunters reportedly being paid up to  €150 for finding dead animals.

The core area was quickly fenced off when the initial infection was discovered. The first case was found just 6km from the Polish border and 30km from the nearest case in Poland, where cases continue to be found in wild boar and domestic pigs.

Brandenburg now also wants to build a permanent fence on the Polish border, according to German pig industry organisation ISN.

Brandenburg's consumer protection minister Ursula Nonnemacher said last week that the plan was initially for a fixed fence in the Spree-Neisse district, with state funds are also planned so that permanent fences can also be built to the north, ISN reported.

ISN also reported that Brandenburg's state crisis team for controlling ASF has relaxed the ban on activity on farmland, such as harvesting, in the core zone.

In a decree on Friday, the veterinary and food control offices 'allowed the use of agricultural and forestry areas uniformly and gradually, provided that no wild boars are startled and no carcasses get into the harvest so that the animal disease is not spread', ISN said.

The agricultural and forestry areas will first need to be completely searched for dead or sick wild boar.

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