The Belgian authorities aim to cull all domestic pigs within the zone in southern Belgium that has been identified as ‘infected with African Swine Fever’.
The country’s federal minister of agriculture, Denis Ducarme, has requested a draft plan to be set up by the Belgian Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain (FASFC). This is all according to EU legislation. Once the plan has been drafted, it will need to be approved, but it will get the label ‘imminent’.
Mr Ducarme said that he can count on the (financial) support of the European Commission to implement this measure. It is aimed at the prevention of further spread of the virus to domestic pigs. The infected zone is coloured orange in the map below. There are relatively few swine farms in this area, the total amount of pigs that need to be culled is around 4,000.
“Mr Ducarme said, “For sure, the fear and the probability are real that the pig sector might be hit. So we need to act to protect an economic sector that represents € 1.5 billion annually and almost 15,000 direct jobs.”
Until now, the virus has only been found in wild boar in the Belgian province of Luxembourg, at about 20 km away from the border with the country with the same name – Luxembourg. The location is also 20 km away from the border with France.
So far, 4 outbreaks have been reported to the World Organization of Animal Health (OIE), bringing the total up to 8 reported infected wild boar. An additional case involving 3 dead wild boar found on September 13 was reported to the European Commission, but this outbreak has not (yet) been reported to the OIE.
All the information on the situation in Belgium can be found on this special page within Pig Progress.