Germany gives free rein to boar hunters to contain swine fever risk
BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany issued a decree on Wednesday to allow hunters to shoot wild boar year-round to stop the animals, which can carry African swine fever, from passing the deadly infection on to farm pigs.
While no case has yet been detected in Germany’s wild boar population, the spread of the disease in eastern Europe is causing immense concern in Germany, whose pork industry has seen huge growth in exports to countries including China.
A government spokesman said the cabinet’s decision was taken to bring about a “significant reduction” in the wild boar population and contain the risk of farm pigs being infected.
The cabinet also agreed on protection measures which would kick in if a case of swine fever was reported in Germany, such as the creation of security zones around affected areas and mandatory disinfection of animal transportation vehicles.
WAV Comment –
See paras 258 to 274 of this following link for further detail:
Disinfection of transport vehicles should always be undertaken after every journey according to EU Reg 1/2005 – otherwise disease could be spread from (possibly diseased) animals that have left the truck, to new animals being loaded onto it. Its called ‘Biosecurity’ – although in reality, there is little security of disease control. This is not something ‘new’ from a government; it should be a routine standard for livestock hauliers !
Are we saying that normally German hauliers do not disinfect according to 1/2005 normally ? – seems that way – so according to 1/2005, they should be prosecuted as they are not enforcing EU regulations ! – Does the German government care ? – of course not.
So, blame the wild boar and hunt them all instead. Much easier to kill rather than disinfecting livestock transporters which haul (infected ?) livestock all over the EU. Livestock biosecurity and disease control has always been a big issue of mine and I have raised the issue many times with the EU – response – the EU does not give a toss; as with anything associated with live animal transport – this is why EU live animal transport is in such a mess.
The virus, which causes African swine fever, is harmless to humans and other animals. But for wild boar and farm pigs, the disease is deadly in almost all cases within 10 days. There is no vaccine against African swine fever.
Germany, a major European Union pig producer, has watched with growing concern as the highly contagious disease has spread westward across Europe. A reported case could trigger mass culls.
Animal protection group PETA criticized the cabinet’s decision, saying the government was subordinating animal welfare to economic interests.
“The de facto cancelling of the off-season will cause great animal suffering, because the young are dependent on their mother during the rearing phase,” PETA said in a statement. “Countless piglets will starve to death.”
Infected wild boars have been found in the Czech Republic and Poland, while backyard pigs with the disease were found in Romania in January.
German farmers have called for 70 percent of the country’s relatively large wild boar population to be culled.
WAV – why don’t they (German farmers) call for tightening of biosecurity rules in transporters hauling live animals (ie pigs) all over the country and to other parts of Europe. A kind of link with Bovine TB in the UK – probably not badgers spreading, but the fact that TB infected livestock is transported all over the UK in trucks that may not be disinfected after each consignment. Again; blame and kill Badgers – it is much easier than enforcing rules for hauliers ! – Mark.
German Agriculture Minister Christian Schmidt has rejected a plea from the farming association to refrain from imposing an export ban if African swine fever was identified in wild boars, saying Germany was not in a position to bypass EU rules.