Brandenburg starts ASP-Hotline

The state government in Brandenburg answers citizens' questions about African swine fever on the phone. Apart from providing information, the main objective is to prevent the further spread of the disease.

The Ministries of Consumer Protection and Agriculture in Brandenburg have jointly set up an African swine fever (ASF) hotline. Under the telephone number 0331 866-5666, staff from both ministries will answer questions on the subject from Monday to Friday between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m., the ministries announced last Friday. The affected districts of Spree-Neisse, Dahme-Spreewald and Oder-Spree will also start citizens' phone hotlines to the ASF, reports agrarzeitung (az).

Ursula Nonnemacher (Greens), Minister for Consumer Protection, justifies the establishment of the information phone by the expansion of the information offer around the ASP and the prevention of a further expansion and especially the spill-over to domestic pig stocks. The aim is to contain the disease in as small an area as possible and to prevent the spread of the infection to domestic pigs. This would require a number of measures such as the establishment of restriction zones and a temporary ban on hunting in the area at risk. "With the information telephone, we are further expanding our information service to answer questions on this issue. The animal disease is not dangerous for humans", said Nonnemacher.
Agriculture Minister Axel Vogel (Greens) also stressed that the "top priority" was "to protect domestic pig stocks from African swine fever".  He added that the situation for farmers and forest managers had come to a head with the detection of ASF in the wild boar population. They had to fear "serious economic consequences". The regional government is taking their concerns very seriously: "We are engaged in an intensive exchange of views to clarify all questions regarding necessary measures and to limit their impact".

In Brandenburg, 7 wild boars have so far been found to be infected with ASF. The first case was confirmed on 10 September. The sites are in the district of Spree-Neisse in the municipality of Schenkendöbern and in the district of Oder-Spree near the municipality of Neuzelle. According to the Spree-Neisse district press office, a total of ten dead wild boars have been found in the core area until last Friday morning, but ASF infection has not yet been officially confirmed in all animals.