Published: Sun, September 16, 2018
Medical | By

Belgium records first cases of African swine fever

Belgium records first cases of African swine fever

All pigs affected need to be slaughtered and properly disposed since there is no known cure for this infection yet.

Stéphane Travert, Minister of Agriculture and Food, has asked the authorities in the regions bordering Belgium - 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 into France.

At the end of the month of August, the president of the main agricultural union the French FNSEA, Christiane Lambert, had concerns about the risk of transmission in the farms of the african swine fever, already present in eastern Europe, where some companies of hunting, importing wild boars to their farms of game. The AFSCA and the SPW on Thursday in a joint statement said, "The fight against the disease is not a public health issue but rather it is a challenge for animal health and economic sustainability".

Denmark has planned to build fences along Germany borders to prevent entry of African swine fever. Romania is Europe's second-largest pig farm.

It added: "This virus can be transmitted easily from one animal to another either through close contacts between individuals, or by contaminated equipment (transport equipment, boots, etc) or via food remains carrying the virus and abandoned by humans".

The task force held a meeting to create guidelines that could help hunters and local municipalities better cope with the situation in case the virus makes its way into South Korea.

France called on Thursday for protective measures following reports that African swine fever had been detected in wild boars in Belgium near the French border. Strict prevention and control measures are defined at European and national level.

Danish Environment and Food Minister Jakob Ellemann-Jensen has said in a statement earlier, "In case of an outbreak of African swine fever, the export to non-EU countries will shut down".

"The first priority now is to ensure that this virus does not spread further and I would urge all pig producers to ensure their biosecurity is tight, particularly in regards to vehicles, animals and people coming onto their units".

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