Update on African Swine Fever in Belgium
There have been further reports of ASF in wild boar in the Luxembourg region of Belgium, close to the border with France. The latest information is that nine cases have been identified and stringent control measures have been put in place. Outbreaks of ASF are a frequent occurrence in Eastern Europe, Russia, the Baltic countries and the Eastern border of Poland adjacent to Belarus. It has also been reported recently in China, Czech Republic and Hungary. It is thought that virus-contaminated pork products from affected countries or fomites are responsible for new outbreaks at long distances from known infected regions. Strict observance of biosecurity and the waste feeding ban are of paramount importance to maintain freedom from ASF.
Farmers and small holders in the UK have been reminded of the potential sources of ASF infection and associated risk factors. Please be aware that it is illegal to feed kitchen waste or any meat products to pigs. The ASF virus can remain viable in imported fresh or frozen pig meat as well as processed meat products from pigs such as ham, salami, sausages etc.. Accidental exposure through pigs getting access to food waste is the greatest risk. Other risks include travel to infected zones with accidental transmission of virus via clothing or footwear. As a general precaution, any pig keepers are advised to soak clothing and footwear in peroxygen disinfectant (Virkon 1:100) immediately after returning home from travel to countries with current ASF infections.
Further information on ASF, including clinical and pathology images, is available here.