Mecklenburg-Vorpommern District

ASP Germany: Virus hops north; a total of 38 cases


African swine fever in Germany is not restricted to one location. The German authorities have reported the shooting of an infected wild boar 60 km north of the first outbreaks. The virus has now also traveled north in western Poland.

The new German case was discovered near the hamlet of Bleyen, in the Märkisch-Oderland district, near the border with Poland and about 60 km north of the already known infection zone. Among them were so far 36 infected wild boars, 28 of them in the Oder-Spree district and 9 in the Spree-Neisse district.

In addition to the new “North” case, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture (BMEL) also reported another location within the known core zone, bringing the total number of German cases to 38.

Measures to combat ASF

The new case has alerted the German pig authorities. From now on, mobile fences are to be erected within a radius of 15 km around these newly found places, according to a press release from the Brandenburg State Ministry for Social Health, Integration and Consumer Protection. In addition, all hunting is prohibited and monitoring for other carcasses is increased.

Minister Ursula Nonnemacher said: “All responsible actors are very well prepared for this serious situation and will work in close cooperation and under great pressure to take all necessary measures. In our estimation, we are dealing with 2 separate outbreak areas. “

Nonnemacher also stated that a permanent, stable fence from the Uckermark – even further north – to the Spree-Neisse is urgently needed. As a result, the state of Brandenburg announced that it would invest 6 million euros in the construction of a permanent fence this year. Only recently the German authorities gave the green light to the construction of a permanent border fence; In the Oder-Spree district, for example, construction is to begin at the beginning of October.

A healthy wild boar roams the fields in Western Europe.  - Photo: Jan Vullings

A healthy wild boar roams the fields in Western Europe. – Photo: Jan Vullings

The German-Polish border rivers Oder and Neisse are initially equipped with electronic temporary fences to prevent wild boars from entering. Whether that is enough is controversial, however, because videos are circulating in which the wild boar appears to be running through the river after a short swim.

Remarkable location of ASP in wild boars

The location of the case in Märkisch-Oderland is remarkable. There are no known reports of infected wild boars on the other side of the border in Poland at this latitude. To a certain extent, this was also the case with the previous case series, as the next known outbreaks in Poland were also 30 km away there. At that time the jump of 30 km could have been explained by a wild boar that had been far back or a carcass swimming in the Oder.

The border between Poland and Germany runs from north to south and is formed by two rivers. In the south this is the Neisse, and south of Eisenhüttenstadt the Neisse flows into the greater Oder, which then forms the border river to the Baltic Sea. The first group of ASF-infected wild boars was found at exactly the same latitude as the confluence of the two rivers.

ASF situation in Poland

The need for additional permanent fences in Germany becomes even clearer when one looks at the situation in western Poland. The Polish Veterinary General Inspection mentioned on Wednesday the discovery of an infected wild boar carcass north of Poznan, in an area where no other ASF has yet been found. It is 73 km north of previous sites – and about 150 km east of the “new” German case.

In addition, 2020 has officially replaced 2018 as the year with the most infected pig holdings. The count is now at 97 farms; the census mainly includes backyard facilities, but there are also various commercial pig farms. So far, 12 farms have been found infected in western Poland, near the German border. Three of these farms had more than 1,000 pigs on site.

More than 2,000 infected wild boars in western Poland

In total only in western Poland since the first outbreaks in November 2019, a total of 2,006. Overall, the area in western Poland / eastern Germany with infected wild boars now measures 151 km from east to west and 129 km from north to south.