African swine fever spreads towards the German border. Domestic and wild boar are at risk.
The epidemic is rampant in the Czech Republic
In the Czech Republic, swine fever has been rampant in wild boar since June. Now it is only 300 km away from the Vogtland in Saxony and is getting closer to the 220 farms that keep domestic pigs there.
Where does swine fever spread?
On June 27, 2017, the outbreak of African swine fever in the Czech Republic was registered with the International Office for Epizootics (OIE). The Czech authorities reported two wild boars found dead in the city of Zlin. Since then, the plague has spread 400 km to the west.
Why does swine fever break out?
The cause of the outbreak is unknown.
Contagion by humans
African swine fever is extremely contagious and often fatal among pigs, and can easily be transferred from humans to domestic pigs if humans have previously come into contact with infected wild boars.
The Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut classifies the risk of the epidemic spreading to Germany as high: “In non-cooked pork products (e.g. domestic or wild boar salami / ham), the ASP virus remains stable over a long period of time. Wild boars can become infected with the pathogen by feeding them or improperly disposing of appropriate products, such as throwing away leftovers at rest areas. ”
Carried in by people and vehicles
There is a particular risk if the pathogen is introduced into the German wild boar population via people and vehicles.
Infected mud is enough
It is enough to go into a pigsty with boots attached to the sludge in which the pathogen sits to infect domestic pigs. To introduce the disease, you only have to hike through a forest in which infected wild boars live.
state of emergency
The Czech authorities are in alarm mode. Your strategy: kill as many wild boars as possible so that the disease does not spread further. It is not clear whether this will bring success.
People spread the plague
Veterinarians warn: Throwing slaughterhouse waste into the environment, or even sausage bread, could spread the disease - if these animal products are contaminated.
Danger from hunters
In theory, German hunters can also spread the disease if they hunt in the Czech Republic and thus bring the pathogen across the border in a car. However, this risk is very low.
Investigations in Germany
Wild boar carcasses are now being examined for swine fever in the Vogtland. However, none of the animals autopsied in 2017 carried the pathogen.
However, this is not the all-clear. Germany remains free from swine fever, but the epidemic is already well advanced. If it gets any closer, disease protection measures must be introduced.
No new plague
African swine fever is no stranger to Europe. It already crossed the borders of the EU in 2014.
What are protective measures
Protection against epidemics in this case would mean that the authorities would define restricted areas, in which the movement of people and vehicles would be restricted, that the blood of pigs would be examined in the factories and that there would be more stringent checks by veterinarians.
What does an outbreak mean?
If only one animal falls ill in a company, the veterinary office orders the entire herd to be killed. (Dr. Utz Anhalt)