The animal disease African swine fever ran under the radar for a long time. Three federal states in the east had another virus to get under control in addition to the corona virus.

Dresden (dpa / sn) – Saxony’s Health Minister Petra Köpping (SPD) has complained about the lack of federal support in the fight against African swine fever (ASF). “This is a national task. With our measures, we also protect countries such as Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia or Bavaria so that swine fever does not come to them,” said Köpping of the German Press Agency. Therefore, the insufficient support is not good. “There needs to be more cooperation.”

On September 10, 2020, the first German case of ASF in a wild boar was confirmed in Brandenburg. Since then, outbreaks have been found in Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Saxony. Official records existed in Saxony until shortly before Christmas 1803. The district of Görlitz is affected with 1266 cases, the district of Bautzen with 463 and the district of Meißen with 74.

Köpping recalled the protective measures taken by Saxony. These include fences, the search for wild boars that have died, the reduction of their numbers and a state center to combat animal diseases that coordinates all measures. All of this ensured that ASF could not spread faster. “I also consider it a great success that there has been no entry of the virus into stocks of domestic pigs in Saxony so far.” The hunters tried to shoot as many wild boar as possible to prevent the animal disease from spreading.

“What annoys us is that the federal government is not doing enough on this issue. That doesn’t do justice to the explosive nature of the issue. We only receive guidelines from Brussels and are confronted with unrealistic expectations. But, and that’s commendable, there is solidarity among the states that, after some struggle, have contributed financially to the costs of building the fence along the Polish border.Saxony has already spent 18 million euros this year, and next year’s expenditure will not be less, only around one million euros came previously backed by the European Commission,” said Köpping.

From Köpping’s point of view, it is also necessary to review the measures taken so far from a technical point of view. We have already spoken to the EU about this in Brussels. “Basically, it’s about protecting domestic pigs.” If wild boar can be better protected by vaccination, for example, it should also be possible to get the virus under control.

African swine fever is a severe viral infection that only affects wild boar and domestic pigs. It is almost always fatal and incurable. ASF is not contagious to humans or other animal species.