It cannot have been a shock to many – yet, when it happened it sent a shiver through the pig industry: ASF has been found in a wild boar in Germany. What is going to happen, what should we look out for and what can be learnt? Pig Progress editor Vincent ter Beek searches for answers on 10 questions about this new situation.
The German authorities had barely decided to build a permanent fence to keep African Swine Fever-infected wild boar away from entering their territory from Poland and then it turns out to be too late. On Thursday September 10, the German authorities confirmed the virus in a ‘decomposed carcass of an infected female wild boar’, according to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).
It was found in the municipality Schenkendöbern, in the Spree-Neisse district in Brandenburg state, at about 6km from the border with Poland.
Let’s start optimistic: Could this find be an isolated one?
That’s not entirely impossible. The virus was found in an ‘almost completely decomposed carcass’ according to the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut (FLI), Germany’s reference lab. That suggests that the virus was already introduced into Germany some weeks ago, the laboratory wrote on its website. That would have given plenty of time to scavengers (including other wild boar) to spread or contract the virus. Yet, there have not been other findings of the virus, despite increased vigilance in recent months. But it is early days and no doubt over the next few days the search in the surroundings shall be intensified – so perhaps more cases will be discovered soon.