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New measures introduced to control wild boar across Brandenburg as ASF toll rises

5th Oct 2020 / By Alistair Driver

The Brandenburg authorities have extended measures to control wild boar and test for African swine fever (ASF) across the state. 

Wild boar 3Three more cases of ASF were confirmed in wild boar in the region over the weekend, all in the core area around the original outbreak, taking the total number confirmed so far to 49.

New protection zones have been set up since the original cluster of cases as new outbreaks have emerged, including one in the north of the state 60km away from the original outbreak. It is thought that the virus has been circulating in wild boar in the state at least since early July.

Brandenburg Consumer Protection Minister Ursula Nonnemacher has now ordered additional measures to control the virus beyond the existing protection zones, German pig industry organisation ISN reports.

These include increased hunting across the state in order to reduce the wild boar population and a more intensive search for and sampling of fallen game. The Minister said it was 'necessary to significantly reduce the wild boar population in the whole of Brandenburg and to examine every dead wild boar that is found'.

In a press release, Brandenburg's Ministry of Social Affairs, Health, Integration and Consumer Protection, states that in all administrative districts of the state outside the existing ASP restriction zones, those authorised to hunt should carry out the following measures:

  • Area-wide increased hunting to reduce the wild boar population
  • Increased search for dead wild boars (fall game search)
  • Display, labelling and sampling for the virological examination of every wild boar found dead, including accidental game.

A €50 expense allowance for hunters for finding the fallen game, reporting and taking a sample has been offered by the state.

Domestic pig herds remain free from the virus.

Government support to ease crisis

ISN has called for Government action to increase slaughter capacity to ease the growing backlog of pigs grows on farms, caused by the combination of the ASF export bans and COVID-19 plant restrictions. 

“The situation on the pig and piglet market is getting worse,” ISN said. “The still limited slaughtering and cutting capacities mean that the backlog of pigs ready for slaughter continues to grow.”

It said piglet producers and fatteners alike are in ‘dire straits’. In addition to the ‘ruinous price’ situation – with finishing prices falling from €1.47 to €1.27 overnight but stabilising since – they are struggling to cope with the backlog of animals. 

It is calling on the relevant authorities to enable the expansion of the slaughtering and cutting capacities, wherever possible, 'in order to prevent the dramatic situation from worsening further and a heart attack in the supply chain'.

ISN managing director Dr. Torsten Staack said the ‘traffic jam’ at the slaughter pig market is having a knock-on effect on sales of piglets, he added.

“The train is rolling and cannot be stopped from now on. Piglets will continue to be born and grow,” he said, explaining that full fattening pens were blocking the piglets from being housed.

Read more on this story on the Pig World website.