Swine fever detected in Lower Saxony
A case of African swine fever (ASF) was first detected in Germany in autumn 2020. Now the animal disease has been detected for the first time in Lower Saxony. Is there also a risk for humans, as some fear?
According to a recent report by the Lower Saxony Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection, African swine fever (ASF) has reached Lower Saxony for the first time. The outbreak was therefore discovered on a farm in the southern district of Emsland. In the meantime, the Friedrich Loeffler Institute (FLI) has also confirmed this.
First case in Germany two years ago
As the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture explains on its website, the first case of African swine fever (ASF) in Germany was reported in September 2020 in a wild boar from the district of Spree-Neisse.
Since then, cases have been recorded in Brandenburg, Saxony, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Baden-Württemberg and now also in Lower Saxony.
“Unfortunately, it was only a matter of time before swine fever reached Lower Saxony,” Lower Saxony Agriculture Minister Barbara Otte-Kinast said.
Prevent the spread
On Friday, July 1, the African swine fever virus was detected on a conventional pig farm in Emsland at the Food and Veterinary Institute of the Lower Saxony State Office for Consumer Protection and Safety food (LAVES). The result of the investigation was confirmed by the Friedrich Loeffler Institute (FLI).
“Our most important goal now is to prevent further spread so you don't experience a wildfire. Make sure biosecurity is maintained on your farm,” Otte-Kinast said, addressing farmers.
With regard to the company currently affected, the minister issued an urgent appeal to the population to refrain from "epidemic tourism" in Emsland in the interest of the extremely important prevention.
As stated in the communication, the virus is very stable and remains contagious in the environment for a long time. It can be transmitted by certain meat products, but also by contaminated food, vehicles, clothing or tools.
It is therefore essential to reduce the risk of spreading the African swine fever virus. Pig farmers who also hunt should pay particular attention to the dangers of introducing the pathogen through their vehicles, clothing, dogs or through contact with their animals.
In domestic boar, as in wild boar, infection with African swine fever causes a severe disease that is almost always fatal.
But African swine fever is not a zoonosis, that is to say an infectious disease that can be transmitted between animals and humans, and is therefore harmless to humans, explains the FLI. Other domestic and wild animals are also not susceptible to African swine fever, experts say. (ad)
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This text corresponds to the specifications of the specialized medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been verified by health professionals.
This article contains general advice only and should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment. It cannot substitute a visit to the doctor.