This Is The First Step Towards A Full ASF-Free Status – European Commission Ratifies: Belgium May Reduce the ASF-Infected Zone | Digital Conqueror

This Is The First Step Towards A Full ASF-Free Status – European Commission Ratifies: Belgium May Reduce the ASF-Infected Zone

HO CHI MINH CITY, VIETNAM – Media OutReach – June 12, 2020 – On May 18th, the European Commission ratified
Belgium’s proposal to reduce the ASF-infected zone in the province of
Luxemburg. This zone, in which African Swine Fever was detected only in wild
boar, was successfully installed by Belgian authorities to prevent the
contamination of domestic pigs. “The reduction of the zone is a positive signal
towards countries that have suspended the import of Belgian pork,” says Denis
Ducarme, Belgian Minister of Agriculture.

 

Immediately after the detection of African Swine
Fever in two wild boards, on 13 September 2018, the FASFC (Belgium’s Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food
Chain
), demarcated an “infected
zone” and a “buffer zone”, in consultation with the European Commission and
ministers. The few domestic pigs in the initial infection zone were
preventively eradicated between 27 September and 3 October 2018. The products
of these pigs did not enter the food chain and were not used in the feed
industry.

 

RECOGNITION OF PROVEN
EFFECTIVENESS

Within the infected zone, a series of control
measures were quickly put in place:

  • zoning,
  • carcass removal,
  • a complete feeding ban,
  • specific hunting regulations and depopulation actions depending on
    the zone, leading to almost no wild boar left within zone II,
  • a partial ban of people and logging, and
  • more than 300 km of concentric placed fences.

Outside the zones and in the domestic herd, an
active surveillance has been maintained. The measures have proven effective to
keep ASF inside the affected zone. The last ASF-positive test on a fresh
carcass of a dead boar, found within the zone, goes back to 11 August 2019. On
6 occasions after that date, ASF was found on the remains (bones) of wild boar
that died several months before their discovery.

So, one year after ASF was first detected in
Belgium, the measures have stopped the spread of the disease. This observation
is backed by the ongoing, intensive search.

REDUCTION OF THE INFECTED ZONE

The reduction (shaded) concerns a part of the
“infected zone” (zone II) within the “buffer zone” (zone I), a zone in which no
infected animals have been detected since 17 February 2019.

 

ONGOING SEARCH INSIDE AND OUTSIDE THE ZONES
AND ACTIVE SURVEILLANCE IN THE DOMESTIC HERD PAVE THE WAY TOWARDS A FULL THE
ASF-FREE STATUS

Ever since the first wild boar tested ASF-positive, Belgium
has succeeded in keeping domestic pigs and wild pigs kept in captivity free of
ASF contamination. If no infected boar is detected, Belgium could regain its
ASF-free status for all porcine animals in the Autumn of 2020. Denis Ducarme,
Belgian Minister of Agriculture: “We must remain vigilant to give back our
country its ASF-free status. This would lead to the abolishment of the last
embargoes on the export of our pork.”

 

All this time, Belgian pork remained virus-free
and suitable for consumption and export. Therefore, trade of Belgian pork
remained free in the European Union. However, some third countries suspended
the import of Belgian pork. The ratification by the European Commission is an
important step towards the re-opening of these markets. For all latest details
on the measures taken and on the current situation in Belgium: www.fasfc.be/outbreaks-african-swine-fever

News Source: MediaOutreach

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