Situation in Belgium
Identification of African swine fever (ASF) in wild boars in Belgium
For more detailed information please consult the document “African swine fever” virus in wild boar in Belgium (link).
OIE official attestation: self-declaration "free status of ASF for domestic and wild pigs kept in captivity"
Up until the 16th of December 2019, 4418 carcasses of wild boar have been analyzed for ASF, among which 830 have been confirmed positive for African swine fever (ASF). All the infected carcasses are located within the zone II except for the last carcass (bones) that was found in zone I, not far from the zone II.
The find concerns the remains (only bones) of a wild boar that has been dead for more than three months, so before September 2019.
The bones were dry and completely emaciated. The analysis performed by the NRL indicates an interval of 3 to 6 months of age (cf. article « Porcine bone samples/left in open-air" - Biomedical Reports).
The site of discovery is situated in zone I. This part of the zone has already been completely isolated by fencing since mid-July 2019. These fences are part of the network of more than 300 km of fences installed to isolate wild boars in the delimited zones.
The nearest case is in zone II, 3.7 km away, and dates from June 2019. It is located inside the same fences.
Within this fence, the number of wild boars has been greatly reduced and is practically or already zero. Research in and around the area was intensified and management measures were immediately adapted.
An extension of the zone II to include the new case will occur.
Based on the literature, the impossibility of demonstrating in the laboratory the presence of a remnant of the wild boar's DNA (negative beta-actin) in a bone found in the open air indicates that more than 6 months have elapsed since the death of the animal (cf. article "porcine bone samples/left in open-air" - Biomedical Reports).
There are no outbreaks in domestic swine.
No domestic and captive swine remain in the initial infected zone (decision of the Federal minister of Agriculture to eradicate all domestic swine by 2 October 2018).
Strict measures have been taken for the whole country to prevent contamination of domestic swine.
Based on European legislation and following consultation with the federal authorities and regional Walloon authorities, the initial "infected zone" has been replaced on the 27th of November 2018 by two separate zones: "Zone I" and "Zone II". This formal decision is imposed by European legislation in the context of zoning and protection measures against ASF, according to the identified risk. (see map below).
Important to know
African swine fever is limited to wild boars in a small area of the southern part of Belgium, there are no outbreaks in domestic swine, and the necessary and preventive measures are taken to control and avoid dissemination of the disease.
All domestic swine in the initial infected zone has been eradicated under the supervision of the FASFC and the repopulation of farms in this zone is forbidden. No products of these eradicated swine entered or will enter the food chain or will be used in the feed industry.
Notwithstanding, the certification conditions laid down in the relevant protocols concluded between Belgium and the non-EU countries (third countries) will be scrupulously respected.
Taking into account the definitions included in Chapter 15.1.3 of the OIE Terrestrial Code, Belgium lost its disease-free status for African swine fever in all suids. Belgium currently still has a free status for domestic and wild pigs kept in captivity.
Measures are taken as provided in Article 15 of European Union Directive 2002/60/EC and supplementary national regulations. The detailed information about these measures can be found in the following document.
On the 13th of September 2018, African swine fever (ASF) virus was confirmed for the first time since 1985 in 2 wild boars in the municipality Etalle (province of Luxembourg). In this region very few domestic pigs are kept (most swine farms are located in the northern part of Belgium).
The Federal minister of Agriculture has decided to eradicate all domestic swine in the infected zone by 2 October 2018. It must be made very clear that his is merely a preventive eradication to prevent the contamination of domestic swine and to protect animal health and the commercial interests of the Belgian Pork industry. It is certain that products of these eradicated swine will not enter the food chain or be used for the feed industry. Compensation for the destroyed domestic swine of all affected farmers will be provided by the Sanitary Fund (Belgian) and European funds, reserved for animals disease outbreaks. Other economic compensation will be provided by the Walloon Region.
It should be emphasized that the potential risk lies in the spreading from wild boars to domestic and captive wild pigs, but that this risk is very limited since the necessary measures are taken.
Press releases and additional information are available on the website of the Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain :
Dr. Vet. Philippe Houdart
Head of the Crisis Prevention Department
Tel.: +32 (0) 2 211 82 81
Mobile number: +32 (0) 478 50 01 72
European and Belgian following the annexes of the Commission Implementing Decision 2014/709/EU: