US News Second federal state affected: swine fever also in Saxony

18:55  31 october  2020
18:55  31 october  2020 Source:   dw.com

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After Brandenburg, a case of African swine fever (ASF) has now also been detected in Saxony.

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The animal disease, which is harmless to humans, has been confirmed in a wild boar shot in the district of Görlitz, as the Saxon Ministry of Social Affairs announced on Saturday. The female animal was shot on October 27 and was examined two days later at the state investigation center. On Saturday, the Friedrich Loeffler Institute confirmed that the animal was infected. A newborn shot at the same time had tested negative.

A crisis team of the Ministry of Social Affairs and the State Animal Disease Control Center will be set up. The establishment of the restriction zones is being prepared in consultation with the district and the Bundeswehr.

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"I appeal to the pig farmers not to let up in their efforts to protect the domestic pigs and to consistently pursue biosecurity measures," said Saxony's Minister of Social Affairs Petra Köpping (SPD).

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The first nationwide occurrence of the plague in wild boar was reported on September 10th only around 50 kilometers from the Saxon border in Brandenburg. According to the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL), 117 cases of wild boar are now official there. The domestic pig populations in Germany are still free from African swine fever. The state is trying to get the epidemic under control with fences, search dogs and drones. The animals usually die within a few days.

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According to the BMEL, the infected wild boar was found near the Polish border in Upper Lusatia. There has been an active ASF event in Poland since 2014, which has spread to the west. Since January, cases of ASF have occurred in the immediate vicinity of the border with Germany. Federal Agriculture Minister Julia Klöckner (CDU) had announced that she would coordinate the fight against African swine fever with her colleagues from Poland and the Czech Republic.

As before in Brandenburg, the requirements of the Swine Fever Ordinance are now taking effect. The primary goal for the authorities in Saxony is to prevent the disease from spreading. This includes designating zones with special protective measures. Dozens of kilometers of 1.20 high fences were set in Brandenburg. There was or still is a leash requirement for dogs, a hunting ban and there was a ban on agriculture in the affected regions. A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Social Affairs could not say on Saturday which of these measures are also suitable for Saxony. With a view to African swine fever,

farmers' president Joachim Rukwied called for safety measures to be taken for free-range and free-range management of pigs. One has to discuss whether "whether not at least temporarily - similar to the subject when avian influenza breaks out, free-range husbandry should be in buildings," he said at the German Farmers' Day in Erfurt in mid-October. Pig farming in Germany is already in the biggest crisis in decades and pork prices are in free fall.

The animal disease is not dangerous for humans. However, a proven epidemic has serious consequences for the pig farms. There are rigid export restrictions. More than 3000 farmers in Saxony keep a total of around 669,000 pigs.

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