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China says battling swine fever is 'complex and challenging'

16 September 2018

"The confirmation today of the presence of the virus in Belgium represents a new progression of the disease which requires an answer to the height of the considerable economic stakes for the French agri-food chains", the Agriculture Ministry said in a statement on its website. All pigs affected need to be slaughtered and properly disposed since there is no known cure for this infection yet.

The plan also included a strengthening of measures to prevent the virus from entering pig farms and slaughterhouses. The disease has already struck farms in eastern Europe and China.

There is no vaccine for African swine fever and mortality rates can be as high as 100%.

Denmark has planned to build fences along Germany borders to prevent entry of African swine fever.

Minister Stéphane Travert called for zoning measures, restrictions of activities like hunting and enhanced surveillance of livestock and wildlife in Belgium to prevent the spread of the disease. She added that the Commission was in close contact with Belgian officials.

"The situation is taken very seriously by the various authorities and levels of power in Belgium and the measures are thoroughly implemented and followed", on his side, next to the belgian federal Agency for the safety of the food chain, in a press release.

The task force held a meeting to create guidelines that could help hunters and local municipalities better cope with the situation in case the virus makes its way into South Korea.

Belgium has confirmed an outbreak of African swine fever, marking a further spread of the disease that has hit farms in Eastern Europe and China and which could now threaten Western Europe's large pig industry.

Belgium's food safety agency on Thursday said that African swine fever (ASF) had been detected in the Etalle district near the French border, after the death of several wild boars raised suspicions that the virus was present.

"We know that ASF can be spread through contaminated human food, so it is important to remain vigilant and discourage all farm workers from discarding human food into fields or areas where pigs or wild boar could get access".

China says battling swine fever is 'complex and challenging'