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11.09.2020

African Swine Fever (ASF): Master thesis on risk communication in Germany

Former MCS student examined the up-to-date topic within the scope of her master thesis.

On September 9, the first official suspected case of African Swine Fever was confirmed in Brandenburg near the German-Polish border. This means that the risk communication of the authorities and associations that has been carried out so far can soon become crisis communication. At the IfMK, research on ASF communication has recently been conducted: As part of a master thesis in the Media and Communication Science program at the Technische Universität Ilmenau, Kimberly Albeño investigated the ASF risk communication of German authorities, veterinarians and other actors at federal and state level. The thesis provides insights into the communication of the responsible institutions with important target groups potentially affected by ASF. The aim is to create awareness and education about important precautionary measures (biosecurity) to contain or prevent the spread of the virus. The most important target groups are especially farmers, hunters, representatives of the meat industry and transport companies.

The thesis was supervised by Prof. Dr. Martin Löffelholz (TUI) and Prof. Dr. Deanna Sellnow (UCF) within the framework of a long-standing cooperation between TU Ilmenau and the University of Central Florida and was completed in April of this year. Topics of this kind belong to the central research topics of the International Research Group Crisis Communication at the IfMK.

The virus is harmless for consumers. Further information is available at the website of the Friedrich-Löffler-Institute:

https://www.fli.de/de/aktuelles/tierseuchengeschehen/afrikanische-schweinepest/