Testing Different Deterrents as Candidates for Short-Term Reduction in Wild Boar Contacts—A Pilot Study
African swine fever (ASF) is a viral infection of pigs and represents a major threat to animal health and trade. Due to the high tenacity of the causative virus in carcasses of wild boar, contacts of wild boar with infectious carcasses are regarded an important driver of the so-called habitat cycle. The latter is believed to play a major role in maintaining the present ASF situation in wild boar in Europe. Therefore, search campaigns and timely removal and disposal of carcasses are considered important disease control approaches. If timely disposal is not feasible due to logistic reasons, deterrence of wild boar may be a provisionary option. The performance of seven deterrents (physical and chemical) was tested in a forest near Greifswald, Germany. Carcasses as entities of attraction for wild boar were substituted by luring sites. It could be demonstrated in this pilot study that certain physical (LED blinkers, aluminum strips) and chemical (HAGOPUR Wildschwein-Stopp™, Hukinol™) deterrents are capable of reducing the odds of wild boar contacts to one third, but in depth testing of the aforementioned promising deterrent candidates is recommended. A choice of those deterrents identified as suitable, reasonable, and easy to apply should be carried out, when carcass search campaigns are launched in the case of an outbreak of ASF in wild boar.