ASF Belgium: 10 new cases; EU pig prices rising
Vincent ter Beek, Pig Progress
Apr 9, 2019
The southern Belgian province of Luxembourg has had 2 relatively quiet weeks with 5 and 10 new cases of African Swine Fever (ASF) in the country’s wild boar population.
The most recent update at the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) showed that last week, 10 new cases were reported. These were reported from 8 different communities in the infected zone. In comparison to late February and early March, these figures are low as in that time-frame there were weeks with over 60 infected carcasses per week.
All in all, in March in total 92 new cases of ASF in wild boar were confirmed, at considerable distance from February (217 cases) and January (121). In Belgium, the virus has never got near to domestic pigs. The total amount of cases reported to OIE is now 723.
Paths are open again for tourism and forestry
The problems are far from gone though, as René Collin, the Walloon minister for agriculture, responsible for the southern, French-speaking part of Belgium, allowed part of the infected area to be opened again for tourism and forestry purposes, as from April 6. The permission will be accompanied by advice to ‘stick to the paths’ and ‘clean bikes and shoes with bleach’.
Forest paths in the infected zone were closed for quite some time. Despite criticism, the Walloon minister for agriculture René Collin decided to reopen them. Photo: Twan Wiermans
Nevertheless, that decision has led to a lot of criticism, including from his counterpart Koen Van den Heuvel, responsible for agriculture in Flanders, the northern, Dutch-speaking part of the country. In that area, the majority of the country’s commercial swine producers can be found.
On his website, Mr Van den Heuvel said, “Even if additional measures would be taken, the risk that things go wrong appears to be way too big at the moment.”
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