African Swine Fever confirmed in Belgium

By Aidan Fortune contact

- Last updated on GMT

African Swine Fever reaches Belgium
Belgian authorities have confirmed African Swine Fever (ASF) in its pig population.

The Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain (FASFC) confirmed that the outbreak took place in Etalle, 10 miles from the French border. According to an OIE report, four wild boar were found to be carrying the disease. Three of the animals were already dead when found, while the fourth was destroyed.

The FSASC said: “Samples were taken directly and sent to Sciensano ​[the national laboratory] who confirmed that wild boars carry the virus responsible for ASF. Wildlife control and prevention measures within pig farms are now being implemented at the regional and federal levels, respectively, in a high-performance collaborative framework. Biosecurity in pig farms is essential and the FASFC ensures that it is permanently properly insured.”

The source of the outbreak is not yet known but control measures including zoning, added surveillance and official disposal of the animals, by-products and waste have been applied.

The agency added: “The situation is taken very seriously by the various authorities and levels of power in Belgium and the measures are carefully put in place and monitored, given the potential impact for the livestock and hunting sectors. A national task force was set up in early 2018 in this context. The different levels of power will continue to work closely together to maximize the effectiveness of prevention and control measures.”

France reacts

Given the close proximity of the outbreak to France, Stéphane Travert, Minister of Agriculture and Food, immediately asked the prefects of the Ardennes, Meuse, Moselle and Meurthe and Moselle, to implement the strengthened action plan specific to this disease , under the coordination of DGAL (General Directorate of Food) to prevent the introduction of the virus on our territory.

This includes zoning measures, restrictions of certain activities such as hunting and enhanced surveillance of livestock and wildlife be implemented in four departments border with Belgium. The plan also includes the strengthening of biosecurity measures to prevent the introduction of the virus into pig farms and slaughterhouse surveillance measures.

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