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African swine fever confirmed in German state of Saxony

2nd Nov 2020 / By Alistair Driver

African swine fever (ASF) has been confirmed in Saxony, which has become the second state in Germany to confim the virus.  

wild boar 5By November 1, the Friedrich Loeffler Institute had confirmed 123 cases in Germany since September 10, all in wild boar. Domestic pig herds remain free of ASF.

Until this weekend, all cases had been confirmed in Brandenburg, mainly within two core areas. But the virus has now been confirmed in a wild boar killed while hunting in the neighbouring state of Saxony, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture (BMEL) announced on Saturday.

The site is located near the Polish border in Upper Lusatia, Görlitz district. According to press reports, the animal was shot in the course of a hunt and showed no symptoms of the disease. But routine screened for ASF by the FLI now confirmed the virus.

Measures are now being implemented in the affected region, including new protection zones. 

For regular updates, guidance and NPA action on ASF, CLICK HERE

Brandenburg spread

The virus has also been found in a new part Brandenburg. Last week, the FLI confirmed 11 new cases, including one found near Friedland/Klein Briesen (LOS), outside the first core area in the Oder-Spree district.

A new core area has been designated around the site, initially fenced off with an electric fence before a solid fence is built, while the Federal Armed Forces are supporting the search for fallen game in the vicinity of the site

The head of the ASF crisis team, State Secretary for Consumers Anna Heyer-Stuffer, said: "This discovery creates a new situation to which we are now reacting immediately.

"The restriction zones will be adapted and expanded accordingly. The Bundeswehr supports the fast and targeted search for fallen game in the vicinity of the site.

"Even if all the outbreaks in Brandenburg so far have fortunately originated from the two previous core areas near the Polish border, it could not be ruled out that the intensive search for fallen game could result in further finds outside these areas. Now it is important to use the tried and tested measures to ensure that the spread of the animal disease is quickly limited .

Export bans

Germany continues to feel the impact of trade bans imposed by at least 10 non-EU countries. Coming on top of COVID-19 plant restrictions, this is causing a big backlog of pigs on German farms.

The German Government has been pushing for a regionalised return to exports to countries like China and Japan, but the discovery that ASF has spread beyond Brandenburg is likely to hinder progress on that front.