African swine fever

No further spread in Emsland so far

imago/Andre Lenthe

In the case of the outbreak of African swine fever (ASF) in southern Emsland, there are no signs for the time being that the disease has spread further in the region. The neighboring countries of the Netherlands and Denmark are alarmed and concerned.

As reported by the Ministry of Agriculture in Hanover, random samples from a one-contact farm in Freren with about 1,800 fattening pigs have been negative. For precautionary reasons, the animals were nevertheless culled. The aim of the measure was to prevent possible further transmission of the highly contagious pathogen and thus spare many more thousands of animals possible suffering, the agricultural ministry explained.

Meanwhile, investigations into the source of entry at the outbreak farm continue. Agriculture Minister Barbara Otte-Kinast convened the "State Steering Committee for Animal Diseases," in which all affected associations and companies are represented in addition to the responsible authorities. The purpose of the state steering committee is to exchange information between the various players at state level and to coordinate supraregional measures to contain an epidemic or its consequences. Tomorrow, at the invitation of the Minister, an exchange with the slaughter industry will also take place to ensure the slaughter of affected animals from restriction zones.

Outbreak in the Uckermark

The almost simultaneous outbreak of ASF on a farm in the Uckermark region of Germany is causing concern in Brandenburg. The State Farmers' Association (LBV) fears that this will disrupt the entire cycle of rearing, fattening, transport and slaughter and further damage pig farming in the already livestock-poor Brandenburg region.

Association president Henrik Wendorff demanded therefore immediately effective ASP programs around the pig attitude in Brandenburg still a perspective to provide. He is referring to programs for pig farmers in accordance with the "Guideline for Compensation of ASP-related Additional Veterinary Costs and Additional Costs for the Transport of Pigs" issued by the state.

The guideline has so far been subject to the de minimis rule, according to which the total amount of various subsidies is limited to 20,000 euros over a three-year period. However, this restriction is now to be lifted as part of an EU notification procedure. In order for the aid to reach the companies quickly, Wendorff demands that this notification must be given top priority by the responsible bodies.

Concern in the Netherlands and Denmark

While the Danish and Dutch pig industries had been emphatically calm after the first findings of African swine fever (ASF) in eastern Germany the year before last, they are now showing themselves to be highly alarmed. After the Federal Ministry of Agriculture confirmed disease outbreaks in a farm in the Emsland district and in another in the Uckermark region on Saturday, the umbrella organization of the Danish agricultural and food industry (L&F) called on all parties involved over the weekend to exercise extreme caution and complete prevention.

L&F regional veterinary manager Jens Munk Ebbesen advised traders and live cattle logisticians to drive widely around the outbreaks. If trips to the counties in question are pre-planned, it would be better to find alternative routes or postpone shipments, he said. Everything possible must be done to prevent the further spread of the highly contagious disease, he said.

The Dutch Farmers' Association (LTO), together with the Dutch Pig Farmers' Association (POV), also appealed to all sectors to be vigilant. In particular, pig farmers, as well as all those who moved animals and those who entered the farm, should be aware of the risks. It is very important to comply with all biosecurity measures, he said. This is especially true for industries that come into contact with material that could contain the ASF virus, he said. AgE

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