In this file:
· Belgium's ASF-Infected Herd Too Close for Comfort, France Says
· Lithuania considers tightening Polish pork imports amid disagreements
Belgium's ASF-Infected Herd Too Close for Comfort, France Says
Jennifer Shike, FarmJournal's Pork
January 4, 2019
Authorities say it’s a matter of time before African swine fever (ASF) makes its way across Belgium’s border into neighboring France. Despite government intervention to curb the disease spread in Belgium’s wild boar herd, reports say infected wild pigs could be as close as 3 kilometers from the French border, which is the distance the disease can travel in one month in infected wild populations.
The French have stepped up surveillance on their side of the border and built fences at the border to keep wild boars from entering the country.
Walloon Agriculture Minister René Collin says control measures are still being applied in the 69,000-acre (28,000-hectare) ASF vigilance zone. As of Dec. 17, 594 wild boars had been collected, including 499 in the infected perimeter. Of these, 205 carcasses were found to be positive for virulent virus.
The ASF vigilance zone won’t have specific biosecurity conditions nor restrictions on traffic, forestry work and game hunting (apart from wild boar). However, getting rid of all boars in the area and transporting them to two collection centers will be necessary.
People with a hunting license in the affected area will organize at least three collective hunting days in January and February to help reduce the wild boar population. Hunters play an important role in controlling and eradicating this deadly disease, according to a fact sheet titled “Control of African Swine Fever in the EU: The Key Role of Hunters.”
The EU and national authorities in the affected countries are taking a wide range of measures to control and eradicate the disease in cooperation with hunters and farmers. They want hunters to consider the possibility that wild boars are infected with ASF. Because of this, they provided five guidelines for hunters:
Lithuania considers tightening Polish pork imports amid disagreements
Source: Xinhua (China)
VILNIUS, Jan. 4 (Xinhua) -- Lithuania considers tightening Polish pork imports in response to the neighboring country's recent ban on pork and pig imports from Lithuania, the country's Agriculture Minister Giedrius Surplys said on Friday.
Surplys discussed the possible measures on Friday with the country's Chief Veterinary Darius Remeika.
"Our Food and Veterinary Service could also inspect Polish pork imports very thoroughly, very seriously," Surplys told BNS news agency on Friday.
"Especially, taking into account that our pork exports to Poland are ten times lower as compared to their pork exports to Lithuania," added Surplys.
Lithuania's comments followed the decision by Poland's Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Jan Krzysztof Ardanowski to stop issuing permits for importing pigs and pork from areas covered by African Swine Flu (ASF) red zones.
"It is not acceptable that the pigs that are bred by Polish farmers are overfed, and pigs from the red zone, from our neighbor, are imported to Poland," Ardanowski motivated the decision.
In recent years, Lithuania has been hard hit by ASF, affecting small as well as large local pig farms. ASF red zone covers North Eastern, Central and Southern territories in Lithuania.
According to data from the Lithuanian Food and Veterinary Service, ASF outbreaks show...