The Belgian health authorities have confirmed the infection of two wild boars with the African swine fever virus (ASF) in Étalle, 10 km from the French border. Belgium remains free of the disease at pig farm level.
The Food Agency, the Sciensano National Reference Laboratory and the Wallonia Region yesterday held an emergency meeting to identify the measures that will be adopted in a coordinated way in Belgium after the confirmation of the disease.
The Walloon Public Service (SPW) is preparing measures to avoid as much as possible the dispersal of the wild boars found in the infected area, as well as the provisions related to hunting. The Department of Nature and Forestry (DNF) has already reinforced surveillance and control.
The SPW reminds all people who walk through the forest areas of the strict application of the forestry code, namely: prohibition from leaving roads,trails and paths and the obligation to keep dogs on a leash. The SPW will offer specific information to forest operators and also order their agricultural services that are available to pig producers to limit the possible economic consequences.
The confirmation of the presence of the virus in Belgium represents a new progression of the disease, and its proximity to the French border requires a response that is worthy of the important economic implications for French agri-food chains, as highlighted by the French Ministry of Agriculture . That is why Stéphane Travert, Minister of Agriculture and Food, immediately asked the prefects of the Ardennes, Meuse, Moselle and Meurthe and Moselle, to implement the specific reinforced action plan for this disease, under the coordination of the DGAL ( Directorate General of Food) to prevent the introduction of the virus into the territory.
The French Ministry of Agriculture and Food requested the implementation of measures related to the creation of control zones, restrictions on certain activities such as hunting and a reinforcement in the surveillance of farms and wildlife in the 4 departments bordering Belgium. The plan also includes the strengthening of biosecurity measures to prevent the introduction of the virus in pig farms and surveillance measures for slaughterhouses. Travert has demanded that this plan of action against ASF be applied with the utmost rigor.
Thursday, September 13, 2018.
AFSCA/ Belgium. http://www.afsca.be
Ministère de l'Agriculture et de l'Alimentation.