African swine fever has broken out on a farm in Baden-Württemberg. This was announced on Thursday by the Minister of Agriculture of Baden-Württemberg, Peter Hauk (CDU) at an online press conference in Stuttgart.
In just five days to Wednesday, 16 of the 35 domestic pigs died in agony on the Forchheim farm (Emmendingen district). The Friedrich Loeffler Institute (FLI), which is responsible for animal diseases, confirmed the presence of the virus Wednesday evening in two dead animals. According to Hook, the remaining animals were killed on Wednesday morning. There is no risk to human health, pork can still be eaten.
Call me: Only put the meat in closed containers
According to the state hunting association, there is currently no evidence of an infection of wild boar. Sausage and meat remnants should be disposed of in closed rubbish bins, especially in rest areas. The virus can survive for over 100 days in smoked ham or salami, for example. “Don’t carelessly throw away leftover food, especially cold cuts and meat products, so that the boars do not become infected. Hunters are aware of their responsibility and help with prevention and monitoring. The sooner infected pigs are found, the sooner the epidemic will be stopped and animal suffering will be avoided, ”said state hunter Jörg Friedmann.
According to Hook, it is unclear how the virus got into the company. The cause is probably “human action.” “The pigs were kept in the open, double-fenced with a double fence. The fence was also buried in the ground so it was certain that the boars couldn’t get there, ”said Hauk. A protection zone with a minimum radius of three kilometers and an adjacent surveillance zone with an external radius of ten kilometers will be established around the affected facility in Forchheim. The surveillance zone covers the counties of Emmendingen, Breisgau-Hochschwarzwald and the district of Ortenau.
Strict rules in the exclusion zone
According to Hook, the transport of pigs, sperm, ova and embryos of pigs in the exclusion zone is prohibited. Pig slurry, manure and litter are also not allowed on the farms. First, “There is no pig outside, no pig inside,” said Hauk. Exceptions are only possible under strict conditions. As the disease broke out in domestic pigs, restrictions do not apply to plant products such as forage, straw, or other agricultural products such as beef, fruit and vegetables.
According to Hook, there is no evidence that the pathogen infected the boar. “To really rule this out, the wild boar in this area must be tested for African swine fever in the coming weeks.” Fallen game is also examined. From Friday, teams of two will go out with the dog to look for the corpse. “Exploration teams are surrounded outside forest areas by drone teams with thermal imaging cameras,” said Hauk. So far, these search teams have only been trained in Baden-Württemberg and have already been deployed in other areas of Germany affected by African Swine Fever.
African swine fever (ASF) is a serious viral infection that only affects wild boar and domestic pigs. It is almost always fatal and incurable. The disease is harmless to humans and other animal species. It first 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 pigs) and Saxony (wild pigs), and in 2021 also in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (wild and domestic pigs). (dpa)