In view of further cases of African swine fever in the districts of Meissen and Bautzen near the Brandenburg border, the Free State of Saxony is extending the restriction zones to conditions based on animal health legislation. In the future, the western border of the so-called exclusion zone II will run north of Meissen, first along the Elbe and then along the Grödel-Elsterwerdaer raft canal to the state border with Brandenburg.
In the north of the Bautzen County, exclusion zone II was extended to include a triangular area between the municipalities of Kamenz, Schwepnitz and Bernsdorf, bordering the state border to the north. The rules on agriculture and forestry, hunters and society in the existing restricted zones remain unchanged and also apply in the areas of expansion.
When delimiting the restricted zones, in addition to the minimum size of restricted zone II (surveillance zone) of 10 km around the outbreaks, the results of epidemiological studies, topographic conditions, wild boar population, animal movements within wild boar. incl. natural boundaries and the structure of fenced areas.
Sebastian Vogel, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Social Affairs and head of the ASP’s Crisis Management Team, explains: “We have moderately extended the restriction zones in close cooperation with the EU authorities. We will put up the necessary fences as soon as possible to prevent the further spread of animal disease to the west. I urge all fattening and pig farmers in this region to be particularly strict about biosecurity measures so that the virus does not spread further to domestic pigs. ‘
Along with the general decrees published on June 13, 2022 to extend restriction zones, it also sets out the rules that must be followed in a given zone and that are necessary to contain and control animal disease. The use of hunting dogs for burying and hunting assistants (beaters) to actively disturb the game is allowed only if it is notified at least two days in advance.
Hunting of all kinds of game, including wild boar, is allowed in exclusion zone II. It is clearly recommended to intensify boar hunting. Persons authorized to hunt are obliged to hunt in their hunting grounds and to cooperate in the search for wild game and must tolerate this when it is carried out by third parties under official orders. Slaughtered game, game and wild boar products must not leave the affected area (exclusion zone II).
A diet of 150 Euro will be paid for healthy or sick wild boars and their collection, if they are disposed of safely. Dogs and items used for hunting or searching for fallen game should be properly cleaned and disinfected.
Keeping domestic pigs in the affected area in the open air and in the open, as well as transporting wild boar, domestic pigs and pork products is prohibited. The locally competent County Office may approve shipment exceptions in accordance with EU law. The same applies to fresh pork or pig products, as well as animal by-products and derived products, as well as breeding material, if these products are obtained from pigs reared on the holding in the surveillance zone. In general, dogs must be kept on a leash.
Special measures also apply to exclusion zone I (buffer zone) which should be considered disease free. Authorized hunting persons must carry out an increased search for fallen game in the buffer zone and increased hunting of wild boar has been ordered. Also in this case, the use of hunting dogs for burying and hunting assistants (batterers) to actively disturb the game is allowed only if it is reported at least two working days before the planned handling of the game.
As in the risk area, a diet of 150 Euro is paid in the buffer zone for the shooting of healthy or sick wild boar and for retrieving them in the event of their safe disposal. Movement of live wild boar, slaughtered wild boar and fresh wild boar meat or meat products from wild boar to or from the buffer zone is prohibited.
This does not apply to transport from the shooting site for disposal or directly to the game chamber. Upon presentation of a negative ASF result for the hunted animal, local county offices may approve exceptions to these transport bans.
African swine fever is a viral infection that only affects pigs, i.e. wild and domestic pigs. It is almost always fatal and incurable. Pigs cannot be protected with preventive vaccination. The disease can be transmitted directly from animal to animal or indirectly through humans to other areas through contaminated items (clothing, shoes, vehicles) and food. ASF is not contagious or dangerous to humans or other animal species.
On September 10, 2020, the first case of ASF in a wild boar in Germany was confirmed in Brandenburg. Since then, outbreaks have been detected in Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Saxony. The ASF virus was first detected in Bavaria on October 31, 2020. Meanwhile, there are 1,372 official records in the counties of Görlitz, Bautzen and Meissen. In Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Baden-Württemberg, cases have already been detected in domestic swine populations. ASF is harmless to humans.