According to current evidence of African swine fever (ASF) in the district of Meißen in Saxony, Bavaria is tightening its preventive measures. “We take the current situation very seriously. The primary goal is to prevent the further spread of African swine fever,” said Bavaria’s Environment Minister Thorsten Glauber (Free Voters) in Munich on Friday.
According to the information, Bavaria is supporting the affected federal states with a dog squadron and drones so that the animal disease does not shift further west. “To protect Bavarian domestic and wild boar populations, we are also starting the next stage of our ASF early warning system. The earlier we detect an introduction, the faster and more specifically we can react,” said Glauber.
According to Glauber, the current case is around 150 kilometers from the Bavarian border. So far, no case of ASP has occurred in Bavaria. The ASP early warning system includes, in particular, an area-wide obligation to examine all hunted and dead wild boars in the Bavarian districts near the border with Saxony. Pig-keeping farms are also required to comply with hygiene and biosecurity measures.
The Bavarian precautionary measures against the ASP include protective fences and shooting bonuses as well as a dog squadron with now more than 40 carcass experiment dogs and associated dog handlers, which in the event of an outbreak should ensure a fast and effective search for fallen game in addition to the latest drone technology and thermal imaging cameras. The dogs were trained in a project across Bavaria.
The Ministry of the Environment has funded the establishment of the dog relay with a total of around 150,000 euros. African swine fever is an animal disease that often leads to death in domestic pigs and wild pigs after a short illness. The virus is harmless to humans and other animal species. The epidemic has not yet been confirmed in Bavaria, but there are already numerous cases in Brandenburg and neighboring Saxony.