In October 2017, the German Hunting Association (DJV) published on its website the freely accessible catalog of measures against the spread of the ASP . In view of the current treatment of the subject of ASP by the daily press (even the Tagesschau reports on it), it is worth taking a closer look at the measures proposed in the catalog.
In the first part of the report, the DJV calls upon confirmation of the ASP in Germany to take all possible measures to curb the disease immediately and prevent spreading to the livestock.
The DJV proposes to divide the area around a confirmed ASP case similar to the case of the Czech Republic in three areas:
1st core area = approx. 20 km² (area around the ASP Fund)
2. Endangered district = approx. 1,000 km²
3. Buffer zone = 12,000 km² (for comparison the area of Schleswig-Holstein is approx. 15,800 km²)
The classification of the areas does not refer to measures for livestock, but serves only to differentiate the intensity of the wild boar hunting and the associated measures in the area. For example, it is assumed that the population of wild boar in the buffer zone would have to be reduced by about 70% in the shortest possible time, if a containment of the disease is to be successful.
For the core area, it is suggested that all carcasses (hunting and game) should be inspected for ASP and properly disposed of.
In the second part of the report, a total of 31 measures are listed (from any hunting rest, through the use of drones to changes in agriculture). It will indicate in which of the three areas (core area (K), vulnerable area (G) and buffer zone (P)) that measure could be used and the potential advantages or disadvantages of the measure. In the comment columns, some of the measures are commented on from the point of view of the DJV.
Classification of the catalog of measures
The DJV is an association of hunters and has first of all no creative power in laws and regulations. Nonetheless, it participates in the drafting of legislation in the form of policy advice, but politicians have no obligation to embrace the views of the BJV or other associations.
This means that the measures proposed by the DJV can be seen by the policy in whole or even partially different. The view can be the complete rejection of a measure or just a different view of individual advantages or disadvantages.
Therefore, it is far from the case that the same measures are adopted when the ASP enters Germany, as suggested by the DJV in its paper.
Which interests are affected?
We hunters are indeed the only ones who can hunt in Germany and in the end probably also carry the manual burden of fighting the spread of ASP, we have no free hand in the exercise of ASP control. Before the individual measures are taken, the policy – in the form of state, environment and interior ministries – will listen to the individual interests of the groups concerned and then make a decision for or against the measure.
For example, with the example of night-vision optics, it currently looks, for example, that the interior ministries of the federal states and the federal government are opposed to the release of night-time optics for hunting. Fears include, among other things, the argument of higher vulnerability to the safety of the population in case of abuse. Regardless of whether it is believed that legal gun owners use their weapons responsibly or not, one fact is very interesting. Since the equipment of our policemen in particular in the night vision technology (with exception of the special police units) has clear, would be in the case of a release of night target devices potentially over 300,000 hunters in Germany the police officer “fire technology” superior. Whether this is seen by the Home Office as a real danger is not publicly evidenced.
Probability of success of the measures
Whether the proposed measures will ultimately be crowned with success or not can only show the future and maybe a glimpse into the Czech Republic or Poland. Since many of the measures are legal there and are also operated by the local hunting community, it should also be possible to learn from the experiences there.
However, since natural laws always apply and the probability of spread of diseases depends on the size of the population, some preventive measures can be taken by the hunting community. According to the old motto “precaution is better than aftercare”, every hunter should go in and examine how far he can and wants to contribute to the already existing means for the prevention of ASP.