GERMANY, Potsdam. The first case of African swine fever (ASF) in Brandenburg is putting pig farmers in he affected region in distress. Pigs from all other areas are still being slaughtered. The farmers' association considers a fence to be insufficient.
Pig farmers who are located in the security zones within a radius of 15 km of the site of the ASF-infected wild boar carcass found last Wednesday are currently not allowed to hand over animals to slaughterhouses. This also applies to piglets that should be delivered to fattening farms.
Pigs in Germany can still be transported to slaughterhouses from the other regions of Brandenburg. Thus a speaker of Tönnies gives all-clear opposite to the German agrarzeitung.de: "Of course we accept further domestic pigs from areas, which are not officially reprimanded, thus also from Brandenburg. As a precautionary measure, we have postponed deliveries from the region around where the infected wild boar was found until we receive official information from the authorities about movement restrictions and additional requirements for farms in the region.”
The primary goal remains risk reduction. Pig farmers from northern Brandenburg also confirm to agrarzeitung.de that they can continue to slaughter the pigs in a closed system. For example, these are slaughtered in the slaughterhouse in Perleberg by Vion. Direct marketers of pork and sausage were not able to record a decline in demand after the reports on the ASF case, for example in Brandenburg or Berlin. "We have trained our sales staff and pointed out that the ASF virus is not dangerous for humans," said a direct marketer from northern Brandenburg. But there was not a single consumer demand over the weekend.
The Farmers' Association of Brandenburg (LBV) announced that a mobile protective fence had been erected within a radius of 3 km around the site where the ASF-infected wild boar carcass was found. However, this measure is considered to be far from sufficient, especially since the fence has significant gaps and is unstable. "What we need now is a solid fence system both around the core zone and on the German-Polish border. In any case, we must prevent the spread of ASF. The core zone must therefore be completely sealed off. If we don't act consistently now, we'll run after the development later on. This must be avoided at all costs," explains LBV President Henrik Wendorff.
The Czech Republic is considered to be very efficient in the containment of African swine fever. A look there shows that the ASF can only be successfully fought by fast and consequent measures. "We also call upon the crisis managers at district and state level to communicate clearly. At no time must the communication thread between veterinary administrations, farmers and hunters be broken," Wendorff continued.
The authorities in Saxony are also in a state of alarm. Saxon pig farmers could be affected by a trade stop of third countries with Germany, the Ministry of Social Affairs in Dresden announced. They are called upon to continue to pay special attention to the biosecurity measures in their stables. When purchasing feed and bedding, care must be taken to ensure hygienically impeccable and, with regard to ASF, safe origin. If grass, hay or straw from the endangered area in Brandenburg has been purchased from Saxon farms in the last few weeks, the legal minimum storage period (according to the swine fever ordinance) must be waited for before use. Feeding food waste to pigs is prohibited. In particular, the Ministry of Social Affairs appeals to hobby farmers. At present, organic farms can still keep their pigs outside. This is valid until the situation could change due to further findings or even in a domestic pig population.