An outbreak of African swine fever on a farm in Baden-Württemberg. This was announced by Baden-Württemberg Agriculture Minister Peter Hoek (CDU) at an online press conference in Stuttgart.
In just five days, 16 of the 35 domestic pigs died in agony on the Forchheim farm (Emmendingen district) by Wednesday. The Friedrich Loeffler Institute (FLI), which is responsible for animal diseases, confirmed the emergence of the virus on Wednesday evening in two dead animals. According to Hook, the other animals died Wednesday morning. There is no danger to human health, pork can continue to be consumed.
The state hunting association warned residents. “Don’t throw away any leftovers, especially sausages and meat products. The earlier infected pigs are detected, the faster the disease is contained and animal suffering is avoided,” said Jörg Friedmann, a state fisherman.
According to Hook, it is not clear how the virus got into the company. Perhaps the reason is “human action”. “The pigs were kept out in the open, double-protected by the double fencing. The fencing was also buried in the ground, so it was certain that the wild boars couldn’t get in,” Hook said. A protection zone with a radius of at least three kilometers and an adjacent control area with an external radius of ten kilometers will be established around the affected facility at Forsheim. The observation area extends over the counties of Emmendingen, Breisgau-Hochschwarzwald and the Ortenau region.
“No pig, no pig in”
According to Hooke, the transfer of pigs, sperm, egg cells and pig embryos into the exclusion zone is prohibited. Mud, manure and bedding from pigs should also not come out of farms. First of all: “No pig, no pig,” Hook said. Exceptions are possible only under strict conditions. Since the outbreak of the disease in domestic pigs, plant products such as feed, hay or other agricultural products such as beef, fruits and vegetables have not been affected by the restrictions.
According to Hooke, there is currently no evidence that the pathogen has infected wild boars. To be able to really rule this out, wild boars in the area need to be screened for African swine fever in the coming weeks. Fallen game is also checked. Starting Friday, teams of two will be out with a dog to search for bodies. “Search teams are surrounded outside the forested areas by teams of drones equipped with thermal imaging cameras,” Hook said. So far, these research teams have only been trained in Baden-Württemberg and have already been deployed to other regions of Germany suffering from African swine fever.
African swine fever (ASF) is a severe viral infection that affects only wild pigs and domestic pigs. It is almost always fatal and incurable. This disease is harmless to humans or other animal species. First it spread to Eastern Europe. On September 10, 2020, the first case of ASF in a wild boar was confirmed in Germany. Since then, cases of ASF have occurred in Brandenburg (wild and domestic boars), Saxony (wild boars) and in 2021 also in Mecklenburg-West Pomerania (wild and domestic boars). (dpa)
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