Science – Success in the fight against animal disease, cancer plague

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Kirchzarten (dpa/lsw) – Officials can report success in the fight against the animal disease cancer plague in the Breisgau-Hochschwarzwald district. The Freiburg Regional Council announced on Thursday that from 2022 onwards, large areas of Brugga and its banks of streams in the Driesamtal between Kirchzarten and Oberid should be re-used. The entry ban, first imposed in the summer of 2019, then only applies to certain areas. The new rules are initially valid till June 30 of the following year.

According to the information, the fungal-like cancer plague pathogen Aphanomyces astaci originated from immigrant crayfish and endangers the protected and very rare jackdaw cancer. Infection from native crayfish is fatal and there is no effective treatment or vaccination. The disease is harmless to humans.

According to the announcement, the cancer plague spreads through so-called spores. This can be done, for example, through objects exposed to contaminated water, such as rubber boots, landing nets and fish nets. They can also be introduced into bodies of water on the moist fur of dogs or the feathers of water birds.

That’s why the authorities have taken measures to at least contain it after the outbreak of the cancer plague in March 2019: two so-called cancer barriers in Brugga and a connecting water drain aimed to stop the spread. In the lower reaches, among other things, fishing is prohibited due to widespread animal disease, dogs are not allowed to swim in the river or its tributaries.

The cancer population is routinely screened. According to the information, this year no live, but some dead jackdaw crabs were found in the lower reaches of Brugga. The regional council announced that it points to a secret reservoir of the cancer plague, which poses a very high risk of spreading the disease.

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© dpa-infocom, dpa: 211230-99-542164 / 2

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