April 5, 2021

 

Belgium lifts ASF biosecurity measures

 


Belgium's biosecurity measures against African swine fever (ASF) in infected areas in the country will be lifted in compliance with federal health standards.

 

After obtaining an ASF-free status at the European level last December, Belgium received the same recognition from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). This confirms the eradication of the disease in the country.

 

A post-crisis management response is currently in place. The response outlines that farmers who had to slaughter their pigs as a preventive measure in 2018 following the outbreak of ASF in the Gaume region can resume their activities.

 

The following actions were also expected to be carried out until March 31:

 

- Monitoring and maintenance of fences in the infected area will continue;

 

- The search for dead wild boars;

 

- The elimination of wild boars in accordance with a Walloon Government decree dated July 16, 2020;

 

- Wild boar destroyed, found dead or shot by hunters were to be tested for ASF to identify any positive case.

 

Concerning the application of Belgium's Forestry Code in infected zones, a decree is being prepared to review and simplify the division of the zones in question. Infected zones will become surveillance zones while two other zones will be merged to become an observation zone.

 

For all the zones that are 1106 km2, fences are to remain until March 31, 2022 when their removal will be reviewed; search efforts continue for wild boar carcasses until August 31, 2021; a boar hunting plan will be adapted; there will be bagging of found dead boars until March 31, 2022; DNA tests on shot boars will be conducted to detect possible boar intrusions; and marketing of wild boar meat can resume in these zones.

 

- Wallonie (Belgium)